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I Never Thought I Would Find People Like Me

Destiny Kaminsky, Reporter

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I never thought I would find people like me. My mom found a camp called “Never Say Never” and got in touch with Nick Stilwell, the founder of Never Say Never. This camp helped me learn two things, one, never say never, and two, how to sail. The camp just passed their sixth annual camp with forty families. The camp is every year in October, and I’ve been to the last three years.
                               
During the camp, I had interviewed some campers, including the founder. “The camp benefits me as an amputee because I get to see my amputee friends and get to do stuff I couldn’t do in Washington,” says Logan Powell. I agree with him because we can’t do some of the stuff where we live so we get to go to the camps and do the stuff we want to learn to do. Logan’s mom was there so I interviewed her too. I wanted to know what she thought the kids were learning and getting out of this. “They build community and long-term relationships with friends and try new things at these camps,” stated Logan’s mom. I’ve always been nervous of these camps. I wouldn’t want to go but my mom told me this would help me out. I’m glad I listened because it worked out, meeting new people like me. “It benefits me by helping me find people similar to me and mentoring the younger children that need a role model to look up to,” says Erica Silvey. 
The founder who runs Never Say Never is Nick Stilwell. Nick is such an amazing person, he has brought me into the Never Say Never family and it’s been the best three years with him and the crew. Nick is a bilateral amputee (below the knee) and this happened to him back when he was in his early 20’s in a bus accident. Nick started the camp because he wants kids to know that they don’t need to give up and they can put their mind to whatever they want and do anything and know that dreams can be a reality he also loves helping children whenever he can he gives out running blades (legs) to help kids run every year. Nick stated, “you can turn dreams into reality because I thought this would always be a dream.” I really love this camp, because I get to know more people and learn new things. I hope people will get to hear about this amazing camp, take this in and not judge amputees anymore.
I get asked all the time what happened to me. I was born like this. I am a bilateral amputee (below the knee), meaning double. People think something bad happened to me which, isn’t true. I could make up stories like…. “yeah you know I was fighting with a dinosaur and it took my legs” or “I was fighting this giant shark for his teeth but it didn’t end well, sadly.” When I was born my left foot was clubbed meaning that my foot was out of position so they had to amputate it. Now on my right leg, it’s a different story, what happened was that my umbilical cord got wrapped around my right leg tightly which cut off the circulation so it made it stop growing. I used to have to have a very small nub at the bottom of my right leg but, they had to remove it so I could walk in a prosthesis.
I was the first ever patient at Shriners Hospital to be able to have my heal on my foot that was clubbed get wrapped around my left leg at the bottom and ever since then they have been doing that.  My very first set of legs I got was when I was really little, I can’t remember when I got them, but I had to have been maybe three or four.
I’ve never really come out and told people about what happened to me, I usually just say I was born like this and walk away. This makes me nervous, but happy to be explaining all of this. I can honestly say that being a freshman in high school is nerve-racking, especially being an amputee. I was worried I would get judged or bullied, thankfully I have never been bullied. 

1 Comment

One Response to “I Never Thought I Would Find People Like Me”

  1. Mindy Do on January 29th, 2018 9:29 pm

    Stay strong! It’s awesome that there’s a camp like this that helps people feel comfortable around other people!

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I Never Thought I Would Find People Like Me