Taj, age 15 of Fort Worth, Texas, moved from New Orleans to Texas after hurricane Katrina. Once in Texas, Taj came to Scottish Rite Hospital for treatment on his foot. He was born with fibular hemimelia and this condition resulted in a Symes amputation, which kept his heel intact but removed the rest of his foot. But this amputation has done nothing to slow Taj down. Taj excels at basketball and football and he loves hanging out with friends. Just like any other teen, Taj is excited to have his drivers license. He is saving up money to buy a car of his own. Taj has never been to Colorado, and is very excited to see the mountains and start his ski adventure.
About TSRHC’s Ski Trip:
Since 1981, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has hosted an Annual Amputee Ski Trip for patients. Fourteen teenage patients, as well as medical staff and chaperones, spend a week at the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), in Winter Park, Colorado.
In a continuing effort to improve the lives of patients, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children recognized that snow skiing is well suited for amputees, and with special equipment, they quickly become competitive and often excel at the sport.
Skiing at the renowned National Sports Center for the Disabled creates a focus for the trip, but the personal growth and challenges the teens overcome are often more life-changing than the actual accomplishment of skiing. The goal of the trip is to foster a sense of self-confidence, discovery and independence for these teens.
Since the first Amputee Ski Trip in 1981, the community has teamed up with the hospital to make this opportunity possible to patient families. American Airlines has sponsored the trip since 2005. Prior to that, Delta Airlines supported the event for more than 20 years. Multiple other generous supporters from the community, including the Stephen M. Seay Foundation help make this trip possible!