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Camp No Limits all started with a two-and-a-half year-old boy named Nicholas who had a big smile, a spark in his eye, and who was missing three limbs. Mary Leighton, OTR/L was working at a private pediatric therapy clinic in Maine, and Nicholas became her her first patient with limb loss. Throughout his therapy he constantly amazed Mary with his determination and his willingness to try anything that was asked of him.
Hanger Clinic prosthetist Scott Hebert constructed Nicholas' first prostheses and he began using his prosthetic devices to his full potential. He took his first steps at age three, was more than thrilled when he was able to feed himself with a spoon and wash his face with his body-powered prosthesis. Mary became determined to make sure he never lost his drive to succeed, and to ensure that he never had limits imposed on his potential.
In 2004, while brainstorming how to motivate others with limb loss to reach their potential, Bambi Lombardi, a fellow occupational therapist and current clinical therapy specialist at Hanger Clinic, suggested a camp to educate children and their families in the importance of physical and occupational therapy, adaptations, prosthetic options, and peer support. Research revealed that no such camp existed, and Mary's mission was born.
From the first weekend camp in August 2004, hosted at Pine Tree Camp in Rome, Maine with four families, Camp No Limits began to take shape. Now the dream has expanded nationwide with camps in Maine, Missouri, Maryland, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, California, and Connecticut.
Hanger Clinic has a long-term partnership and close relationship with Camp No Limits. Our AMPOWER program sends trained adult mentors with limb loss or limb difference to every Camp No Limits camp around the country, ensuring campers are able to connect with people who are similiar to them. Hanger Clinic employees also participate in the program as volunteers and mentors, as well as providing professional and clinical education for families in attendance. In 2014 Hanger Clinic’s parent company, Hanger, Inc., donated $100,000 to establish scholarships to Camp No Limits. In 2016 and 2017, scholarships were funded by grants from the Hanger Charitable Foundation through the Hanger Charitable Foundation Kids Scholarship to Camp No Limits.
The Hanger Charitable Foundation provides $1,000 scholarship awards to Camp No Limits, a non-profit camp for children with limb loss or limb difference to receive education, mentorship, and support. Each award covers the cost of attendance, lodging, meals, and included activities for kids with amputations or limb differences and an accompanying parent or guardian at any of the Camp No Limits camps available.
"Over the past 10 years, through their volunteerism with Camp No Limits, our employees have witnessed the incredible benefit this special camp provides for children with limb loss or limb difference and their families," Hanger President and CEO Vinit Asar said. "Camp No Limits founder Mary Leighton and her team have developed a truly exceptional experience. We are delighted to support their efforts and are happy this scholarship will help even more children and their families get to camp."
"In just several days of camp, we see children who once hid their residual limbs now wearing shorts, comparing prosthetic devices, riding bikes for the first time, and enjoying life uninhibited as all children should," Camp No Limits Founder, Director, and Occupational Therapist Mary Leighton, OTR/L said. "It's the power and comfort of engaging with someone who is like you, who understands you. We are so thankful Hanger values Camp No Limits and is supporting us with such a generous donation and scholarship offering."
Children with limb loss or limb difference who are under the age of 18 at the time of application are eligible for the Hanger Kids Scholarship. Preference will be given to first time campers but all are encouraged to apply. All pediatric amputees are eligible, regardless of where they get their prosthetic care or if they are prosthetic wearers.
Applications are available here
Camp No Limits is a non-profit organization 501 (c)3) that hosts several annual camps nationwide for children with limb loss or limb difference to receive education, mentorship, and support. Organized by medical professionals and adult amputee role models, Camp No Limits is designed to provide pediatric amputees and their families a fun experience that teaches the children to push beyond their perceived physical, social and emotional limitations. The Camp No Limits mission is to educate and empower young people with limb loss to discover and develop a healthy, happy and independent lifestyle. For more information, please visit: