Published on : Thursday, February 7, 2013
A special group of teenage amputee patients from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children will soon head for the slopes of Winter Park, Colo. The group will fly via American Airlines for the 32nd annual amputee ski trip, which is also supported by the hospital’s generous donors. This year, 13 teenagers will participate in the all-expense-paid ski adventure at Winter Park’s National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), one of the world’s largest outdoor therapeutic recreation facilities.
American Airlines in an official sponsor of the trip and is providing air travel for the teens, medical staff and chaperones. The group will depart Monday, Feb. 11, from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), for Denver International Airport (DEN), and will return to DFW Airport on Saturday, Feb. 16.
“At American Airlines, supporting children and their families is a primary focus of our Kids in Need program,” said Bernie Willett, American’s Director – Community Programs. “We’re proud to partner with Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children to provide air transportation for these inspiring young people to experience the excitement of skiing and snowboarding, as well as the fun and camaraderie of forming new friendships.”
American Airlines employees, including members of its Abilities Employee Resource Group (ERG), are hosting a special send-off party the morning of Feb. 11 for the teenagers and their families in Terminal C at DFW Airport. Festivities will include a Wii snowboarding video game; a Coca-Cola ring toss game; a Foosball table; visits from the American Airlines mascot, “Spirit”; refreshments provided by the Admirals Club®; and brief welcoming remarks from representatives of American Airlines and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
During their visit to the National Sports Center for the Disabled, the teenagers will be paired with a volunteer instructor from the NSCD for a week to learn to ski, engaging in such challenges as learning to carry their skis in the snow while wearing their prostheses. The trip allows the patients the opportunity to have fun while fostering a sense of self-confidence, independence and discovery – attributes that can remain with these young adults throughout their lives.
Dallas-based Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, one of the nation’s leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, encourages its patients to challenge themselves during this special ski experience.
“Over the years, we have seen the incredible way that the sport of skiing promotes self-confidence among our amputee patients,” said Don Cummings, Director of Prosthetics – Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. “With the proper adaptive equipment, many patients excel at the sport and, in fact, skiing turns out to be one of their favorite activities. We’re extremely grateful to American Airlines and other generous donors for making this trip possible and giving our patients the opportunity to discover a new passion while overcoming challenges with other patients just like them.”
This is the eighth consecutive year that American Airlines is providing air transportation for the trip. Travel is being arranged through Miles for Kids in Need® – part of the American Airlines Kids in NeedSM program, which provides support for a variety of purposes related to the well-being of children and their families.
Founded in 1989, the American Airlines Miles for Kids in Need program offers members of the American Airlines AAdvantage® loyalty program the opportunity to donate their unused AAdvantage miles to help provide air travel for children and their families via partnerships with some of the world’s foremost entities dedicated to caring for children. The American Airlines Kids in Need program supports numerous organizations, including Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, the Something mAAgic Foundation® and Snowball Express.