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Kids overcoming obstacles after thieves stole their equipment

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Children's Hospital Adaptive Sports Program was set up four years ago to help families who have children with disabilities enjoy athletic experiences. But many families may not have been able to take part in water sports this year after thieves took off with the majority of the organization's equipment.

In the water is where Seth Faulconer loves to be. "When you're out there it feels like, let's just say freedom I guess."

The straight A student joined about a hundred other children on Sunday at an Adaptive Water Sports Clinic.

Seth was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at seven months. In the last four years alone, he's had three surgeries. Here, all his challenges fade away.

His father Mark says Children's Hospital Adaptive Sports Program is a priceless confidence builder for his son. "I couldn't provide it for him so it's pretty special. All these kids they struggle a lot every day. It shows them they can have a life.

But the free event almost didn't take place this year. In February thieves broke into a Clovis storage unit and stole about $16 hundred worth of equipment.

Jennifer Crocker said, "It was difficult at that time because we had worked so hard to raise money just for the few pieces that we had."

But when news of the break-in spread, the community stepped up and donations poured in.

Crocker said, "We were able to buy a couple of pieces that were new and better so it's been a nice jump."

Mallika Mahendru, 7, had a spinal cord injury as a baby. On Sunday she got to enjoy the new stock. "I went water skiing. I went on a boat and i went on a tube ski."

Mallika's mom and dad couldn't be prouder of their little girl.

"She is my inspiration," Anuj Mahendru said. "She gets me going, she keeps me going all the time. And looking at her we always say that nothing is impossible. What the other kids can do, she can do."

If you'd want to be involved, the organization needs volunteers and is donation based. Visit the link for details www.childrenscentralcal.org/adaptivesports.

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