Five Amputees Surprised with Life-Changing Össur Running Prosthetics as Grants from Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF)
October 5, 2020
CAF & Össur orchestrate memorable grant-giving moments with celebrities and professional athletes to continue to help people with limb loss pursue an active lifestyle
SAN DIEGO, CA – Through a 20-year partnership, CAF and Össur have given the gift of mobility to thousands of amputees around the world. Through several surprise moments with high-profile celebrities and professional athletes, there are five new grant recipients who received Össur running prosthetics. Surprise moments included MLB’s Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar, NFL’s Luke Kuechly, Professional Supercross Riders and Fitness Supermodel-amputee Paola Antonini.
“For athletes with limb loss, participation in sports is not always possible due to the high cost of adaptive sports equipment not covered by medical insurance,” said Travis Ricks, Programs Director for CAF and Ambassador for Össur. “Our long-standing partnership between CAF and Össur has allowed individuals to regain their independence using running prosthetics, connecting with the community and getting instructional support for running and mobility.”
Stories of the week:
- MLB’s legendary hosts Eric Byrnes & Kevin Millar surprise quadruple amputee & loyal Yankees fan, Landis Sims (14 years old) with a brand-new pair of Össur running legs.
- Renowned Brazilian model, dancer, social media influencer and amputee, Paola Antonini, surprises 11-year old Shweta Broberg with a running leg. Shweta and Paola share a passion for dance and changing perceptions of those with limb loss.
- Seven-time pro bowl linebacker and former Carolina Panther, Luke Kuechly surprises 53-year old youth football coach, Darren Stroman with a new running leg.
- Professional Supercross and Motocross racers and 100% brand ambassadors: Aaron Plessinger, Marvin Musquin and Cooper Webb surprise 32-year old, Greg Griffin with sports prosthetic leg. Greg lost his leg in a motorcycle accident and dreams of riding again someday.
- Certified Prosthetist, Kimmie Champion in Portland, Oregon, received a surprise running leg with a compilation video of her patients’ words of appreciation.
CAF’s mission, to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges aligns with Össur’s mission to provide the latest technology in prosthetics needed to live a life without limitations. Today, more than 2 million amputees living in the US have benefitted from the partnership.
Recent Grant-A-Day Recipient Stories:
Quadruple Amputee Surprised by MLB Legends
It’s been 3 years since Landis Sims, a 14-year old quadruple amputee and baseball player, was featured on the MLB Network, threw out the first pitch at a Yankee game and represented the Yankees in the MLB Draft. Landis’ passion for baseball has been evident since age 3 and he has continued to achieve his dream of making his high school baseball team. In a recent Zoom reunion, MLB hosts Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar, presented Landis with a brand-new pair of Össur running legs on behalf of CAF and David Rotter Prosthetics.
Landis was born limb deficient, missing his hands and lower legs and quickly showed those around him that he was a determined and capable child. No “missing” part was going to hold him back. He has continued to participate with his peers in baseball and basketball through hard work, determination, and support of organizations like CAF. Watch Landis Sims Promo of Grant Give.
World Famous Supermodel-Amputee Surprises Teen Amputee With New Leg
Eleven-year-old, Shweta Broberg, is an above knee amputee from Denver Colorado who assumed she was attending another appointment at RISE Prosthetics & Orthotics. She was surprised when Össur Ambassador and amputee model Paola Antonini “Zoomed in” to presented her with a CAF grant for an Össur running leg similar to hers. Shweta loves anything outdoors, skiing and dancing and has been inspired by Paola’s journey when she lost her leg several years ago. Watch Schweta’s Surprise Moment.
Paola was the tragic victim of a drunk driver in 2014. Not feeling limited by her injuries, she proudly shared a modeling photo that highlighted her amputated leg. The post went viral and earned her worldwide recognition as a source of inspiration to others. Focused on resuming her modeling career, Paola continued to engage on social media and quickly gained over 2.5 million followers. Today, Paola leads a very active lifestyle and travels extensively sharing her story, including a TedTalk feature.
NFL player Inspires Youth Football Coach in South Carolina
Former NFL Linebacker Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers dropped in as a surprise grant presenter to new amputee, Darren Stroman of Blackville, South Carolina. Darren, a 53-year-old welder, had a below-knee amputation due to a work-related incident. Darren is a loving father of 8, 10 and 15-year old boys who enjoys coaching their youth football teams. When Darren attended what he thought was a routine fitting appointment at Bulow Orthotics & Prosthetics, he was presented with his new Össur running leg while NFL’s Luke Kuechly added some special words of encouragement. Watch Darren Stroman’s Grant Give
Back to Riding with the Help of Motocross Champions
Greg Griffin, a below-knee amputee from Johnston City, TN was at a visit with his Prosthetist when he was surprised via Zoom by three 100%-sponsored, professional Motocross riders: Aaron Plessinger, Marvin Musquin and Cooper Webb. Greg lost his leg due to a motorcycle accident in 2013 however, that hasn’t steered him away from doing what he loves. He still loves riding motorcycles, hiking, running and being active. CAF, Össur and Greg’s prosthetist, Dave Smith from Victory Orthotics & Prosthetics have partnered to present him with his first running leg – an Össur Cheetah Xplore Sports Foot. Through shared sponsor, 100% and a generous Össur grant, Greg will get back to riding motocross again soon. Watch Greg Griffin’s Surprise Moment.
Kimmie’s Patients Send Words of Appreciation
Born with only a heel for a right foot, Kimberley “Kimmie” Champion, a Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist (CPO) in Portland, Oregon knows first-hand how important it is to help her patients gain confidence, mobility and enhance their quality of life. With an affinity to focus on each patient as a whole, she has enriched many lives and encouraged others to see their full potential. Kimmie is a runner and one of 18 women named on Team USA’s Women’s Wheelchair Basketball, to the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, Canada where they won a Gold medal. As Kimmie was presented with her Össur running prosthetic, several of her patients sent in videos of appreciation to thank her for her overall kindness and care. Watch Kimmie’s Surprise Moment
In addition to providing adaptive sports prosthetics, Össur is proud to sponsor mobility clinics and the 2020 CAF Community Challenged sponsored by Vega.
Össur (NASDAQ OMX: OSSR) is a global leader in non-invasive orthopedics that help people live a life without limitations. Its business is focused on improving people’s mobility through the delivery of innovative technologies within the fields of Prosthetics and Bracing & Supports. A recognized “Technology Pioneer,” Össur invests significantly in research and product development—its award-winning designs ensuring a consistently strong position in the market. Successful patient and clinical outcomes are further empowered via Össur’s educational programs and business solutions. Headquartered in Iceland, Össur has major operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, with additional distributors worldwide.www.Össur.com.
About the Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $123 million has been raised and over 30,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts impact another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, visit challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.
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