HAMDEN – Quinnipiac University is hosting a program called “Camp No Limits.” It is a place for children and teens and even their families to gain the confidence they need by meeting others who also have limb loss.
One of the teens participating is 16-year old David Botana from Portland, Maine. He is just your average teenager who is about to get his driver’s license but what many do not know is he was born with multiple disabilities.
“I was born missing my radial bone in my left arm and that caused my thumb not to grow, so I was born kind of like this without a thumb,” said Botana.
Botana also suffers from Congenital Scoliosis and VATER Syndrome, a condition that has affected his growth. No matter what, he got behind the wheel Wednesday on a driving simulator.
While his low energy and lack of mobility may get in the way at times, it has not stopped him from riding horses competitively and competing as a Paralympian.
“Being different is also very important. When you can show that you can do what other people can and better than that with your disability so to speak, you can show them that you’re that much more capable,” added Botana.
Instructors were also able to provide a practice vision test where Botana passed with flying colors.
He also met Robert Schulman who is certified in prosthesis and he demonstrated a new technology called 3-D Printing. With the use of the mini iPad, he scanned an image of the person’s leg, uploaded it to a computer program where he was able to customize a size and shape.
“With that program, I’m about to make the size and the shape exactly how I’d like so it’ll fit on their prosthesis camp,” Certified Prosthetist Robert Schulman.
Outside of the medical building, there were also three miniature horses purposely used as a therapeutic treatment. Instructors said the more interaction they have with animals, the more it will boost their happiness.
As we headed outside the medical center, we came face-to-face with three miniature horses – mookah, willie and mabel.
“So far, it’s just getting the confidence to continue to do what they want to do which is tough to see because you want them to have the confidence and you know that they can do it, but knowing that they have limitations that they can be a little nervous about doing the typical things,” said Nicole Moran, a graduate student of Quinnipiac University.
The program will continue on for the next few days where kids will arrive at the camp on Thursday and the big carnival will take place on Friday.