Once-in-a-lifetime trip for teen amputees

Amputee ski trip

Credit: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Corporate donations fund the annual ski trip for young people with amputated limbs.

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on January 30, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 12:09 AM

D/FW AIRPORT — A party at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is just the start of the trip of a lifetime for 14 teenaged amputees.

Among them: 17-year-old William Phillips, who lost his foot at age 6 in a lawnmower accident.

"It's really inspired me to see that there's more to life than just being stuck in a corner somewhere, saying I'm never going to be able to do anything," he said.

Learning they can do anything is the purpose of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children's amputee ski trip to Winterpark Colorado's National Sports Center for the Disabled.

Skiers who need it are fitted with special equipment for their snowy adventure.

It's the 31st year for this event, which fosters self-confidence, discovery, and independence for the young amputees.

"They can get hope and inspiration from each other and really relate to each other — their differences and the challenges they've had to face together," explained Stephanie Brigger of Scottish Rite.

Because of generous donations from companies including American Airlines, the ski trip is free to patients.

What's priceless for Branton Guzman is learning he is not alone in his abilities.

"Just that alone, on the basis that we all have something missing — missing pieces — we all got along," he said. "It really changed my view on how I deal with other people."

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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