Annual Trip Offers Teens Therapeutic Ski Activities, Life-Changing Experiences
FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A group of 14 teenage amputee patients of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children will head for the slopes of Colorado next week, thanks to American Airlines and the hospital. This is the 31st year for the all-expense-paid trip, which is supported by generous Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children donors and air transportation provided by American Airlines. The young patients will participate in a ski adventure featuring activities tailored specifically for them.
The teens will depart Monday, Jan. 30, from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), arriving at Denver International Airport (DEN) that afternoon; they will return to DFW on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The teens will be skiing and snowboarding at Winter Park’s National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), one of the world’s largest outdoor therapeutic recreation facilities. They will be paired with a volunteer instructor from the NSCD for a week to learn to ski, facing such activities and challenges as carrying their skis in the snow while wearing their prostheses. The trip allows the patients the opportunity to have fun while fostering a sense of self-confidence, independence and discovery – attributes that can remain with these young adults throughout their lives.
“All of us at American Airlines are proud to support this annual ski trip and this terrific group of teens,” said Andy Backover, American’s Vice President – Corporate Communications. “Each year, our employees look forward to joining in send-off and arrival celebrations for this wonderful program, which helps these youngsters develop a sense of self-empowerment through skiing. This trip is not only a tremendous growth opportunity – it can be a truly life-changing experience.”
Snow skiing is an activity that is particularly well-adapted for amputees. Dallas-based Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, one of the nation’s leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, encourages its patients to challenge themselves during this experience. With specialized equipment, patients often excel at the sport and, in some cases, become competitive skiers.
“My favorite part of the entire experience is seeing how each patient undergoes their own positive transformation during the ski trip,” said Don Cummings, Director of Prosthetics at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. “As a prosthetist, it is my job to make sure that their prostheses are fitting and functioning well enough for them to reach their fullest potential. When they are on the trip, it is up to them to conquer everyday challenges, and to adapt to new ones like ice, snow and learning to ski. Thanks to American Airlines and other generous donors, each patient is able to walk away with a new sense of pride and accomplishment.”
This is the seventh consecutive year that American Airlines, an official sponsor of the trip, is providing air transportation for the teens, medical staff and chaperones. Travel is being arranged through Miles For Kids In Need® – part of the American Airlines Kids In Need(SM) program, which provides support for a variety of purposes related to the well-being of children and their families.
Founded in 1989, the American Airlines Miles For Kids In Need program offers members of the American Airlines AAdvantage® loyalty program the opportunity to donate their AAdvantage miles to help provide air travel for children and their families via partnerships with some of the world’s foremost entities dedicated to caring for children. The American Airlines Kids In Need programs support numerous organizations, including Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Something mAAgic Foundation’s annual mAAgic flight.
American, American Eagle and Admirals Club® employees are hosting a special send-off party the morning of Jan. 30 for the teenagers and their families in Terminal C at DFW Airport. Festivities will include snow-themed decorations and activities, refreshments and brief remarks from representatives of American Airlines and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Upon their arrival in Denver, employees will welcome the group with snacks and beverages. On their departure to Texas on Feb. 4, employees will invite the group to enjoy the amenities of the Denver Admirals Club.
A special guest at the DFW send-off will be First Officer Tom Marquardt, an American Airlines pilot and a Major in the Air Force Reserve. Marquardt, whose leg was amputated below the knee due to injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan, is now back in the cockpit after undergoing rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He is also an employee spokesperson for American’s partnership with Air Compassion for Veterans, which provides air transportation for injured service members and their families to receive medical and rehabilitative services.
To learn more about the community initiatives that American Airlines supports, or to donate to American’s Miles For Kids In Need program, please visit www.AA.com/JoinUs.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,300 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American’s award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 10,000 daily flights to 149 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.
AMR Corporation, and certain of its United States-based subsidiaries, including American Airlines, Inc. and AMR Eagle Holding Corporation, filed voluntary petitions on Nov. 29, 2011 for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. More information about the Chapter 11 filing is available on the Internet at http://www.aa.com/restructuring.
About Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is one of the nation’s leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia. Admission is open to Texas children from birth up to 18 years of age. For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, please call (214) 559-5000 or (800) 421-1121 or visit www.tsrhc.org