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Seattle Children’s Hospital takes kids with physical impairments on ski trip

Seattle Children’s Hospital brought six children with physical impairments up to Stevens Pass Ski Resort Saturday to ski and snowboard. KOMO Photo.

SEATTLE - Seattle Children’s Hospital brought six children with physical impairments up to Stevens Pass Ski Resort Saturday to ski and snowboard.

The annual trip is facilitated by the Outdoors For All Foundation, a non-profit organization.

The foundation paired each kid with a volunteer instructor.

“My goal is for the kids to have a wonderful day,” Manager of Physical Therapy Cathy Graubert said.

Graubert started the tradition six years ago. Each of the six kid had a different diagnosis and impairment, but the goal for the group was the same.

“Most of the kids and most of the families think there no way that they can ski or snowboard, so we have to push them a bit to say, ‘yeah, we’ll figure out a way,’” Graubert said.

Graubert said the trip builds confidence that continues off the mountain.

For six-year-old Kenley Teller, sports are everything.

Saturday marked her third time snowboarding since doctors removed both of her legs two and a half years ago.

Kenley was born with Popliteal Pterygium Syndrome. Her eyelids, fingers and toes all had webbing, but the worst of it was on her legs. Eventually, doctors opted to amputate both legs.

Now Kenley walks with prosthetics.

“It was a little scary, and I cried a little, but it was okay,” Kenley said about losing her legs.

Kenley jokes that her favorite part was being able to order any food she wanted while she was in the hospital. She giggled and screamed Saturday and she flew down the beginner slopes at Stevens Pass.

Last year’s ski trip guided Kenley to her new passion—swimming.

She found a team that supports kids with physical impairments. Sports have become her outlet.

“It’s just really built a base of confidence in her,” her father, Aaron, said. “She really surprises us everyday.”

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