Clinic helps amputees enjoy wake surfing

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A group of people forced to live daily life a little differently than most got the opportunity Saturday to participate in something many take for granted.

“I’m a big believer in reinventing yourself,” said Terry Boyd, a double amputee from Denver.

For Boyd, life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating the life you want.

“I am going to be a surfer and if someone would have told me one year ago or 10 years ago, would I be a surfer, I would have said absolutely not. So yes, I am reinventing myself today,” Boyd said.

Boyd says he’s not disabled.

“Left leg is amputated below the knee. Right leg is above,” he explained of his prosthetic legs.

He says he just faces some physical challenges others do not.

“I live in a world where I have to fit in with the walking and with the able-bodied,” he said.

For the second year in a row, Boyd, and others just like him, get the opportunity to experience the joy of water sports.

“I can check this off of my bucket list,” he said. “To experience life like everyone else and that’s the beautiful thing.”

“Cavanaugh, you want to give it a shot?” said one of the men helping participants learn how to stand up on the board.

For 8-year-old Cavanaugh Kreb, also wearing prosthesis on both legs, the experience is priceless.

“You’re just going to hang out there and have fun.  Sound like a plan?” asked an expert with Tommy’s, a water sports company in Golden.

Gadson, 9, watched from the shore after taking  his turn on the water.

“I’m supposed to hold it and then like skate, that’s how you do it… I’ve been working out these muscles,” Gadson said, flexing his arms.

The event’s primary goal is to challenge the attendees and empower them to experience the joy of water sports.

For many, the day was about removing obstacles and continuing the journey of life.

“Its priceless, I don’t think you can put any price on this. Grateful is the only word that I can use. Very grateful,” said Boyd.

The Amputee Wake Surfing Clinic at Standley Lake in Westminster was put on by Tommy’s water sports provider, Freedom Innovations, Hanger Clinic, Endolite, The Amputee Program for Limb Deficiencies at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the City of Westminster.

The clinic linked attendees with specialized professionals, including certified prostheses, local physical therapists, prosthetic component representatives and adaptive sports instructors.

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