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Kids Overcome Disabilities By Hitting The Slopes

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An image from Winter Park (credit: CBS)

An image from Winter Park (credit: CBS)

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WINTER PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – Sometimes people in Colorado can take the mountains for granted, but a group of children will never forget their experience in the high country.

The children are overcoming their disabilities by learning a new sport.

For some of the dozen children in Colorado from Texas, they’d never seen snow, and some haven’t even been able to compete in other sports. But the National Sports Center for the Disabled is giving the kids an opportunity they assumed was impossible, like Lauren Starks, who has no left leg.

“I never thought I’d be snowboarding, but when Scottish Rite called me, I did it, I like it, and now I’m coming back,” Starks said.

Starks’ instructor said he’s only the second person with an amputation up to his hip who actually learned how to snowboard. His instructor said everyone else with that injury just learns to ski.

Starks says he hopes he’s an inspiration to others.

“Somebody else can do it when they look at me, probably,” Starks said.

The other teens who are on the slopes as part of a program from their Dallas-based hospital say the opportunity to ski is beyond rewarding.

“Every time I come here and go back home it’s almost like my confidence level is up and my self esteem is up,” snowboarder Abigail Hernandez said.

Hernandez lost her foot when she was an infant. She’s now made her third trek back to Colorado.

“I really, really like getting to spend time with other kids who are amputees. We all have friends at home but can’t relate the way we can here,” Hernandez said.

The National Sports Center for the Disabled wraps up its season with a big event in March. It’s the 27th annual Wells Fargo Cup and it’s the main fundraiser for the center.

LINK: National Sports Center for the Disabled

Skiing In Colorado

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