Amputees discover new possibilities at specialized fitness event

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Sunday, September 25, 2022
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Eileen Garney lost the ability to run after a tragic accident. 20 years and one amputation later, she finally feels like an athlete again!

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The amazing stories of amputees converged on the track at Holy Ghost Preparatory School today, opening doors to new opportunities in the world of fitness and independence.

"I became an amputee three years ago and it was due to trauma that I sustained 20 years ago actually during a caving accident," said Eileen Garney from Annville, Pennsylvania.

Garney was only 19 years old when a 50-foot drop and five-hour rescue changed her life forever.

"I loved to run and I loved to just do everything physical and I lost it," she said. "So, to be able to go back to it 20 years later, I feel like I'm actually an athlete again. It's really exciting."

Garney had that opportunity through her prosthetist and Lawall Prosthetics and Orthotics, which connects amputees to life-changing devices across the tri-state area. Three years ago, practitioners came together to form the offshoot nonprofit, Team Lawall.

Of their various events, the annual crown jewel is the Level Up fitness clinic. Each exercise rotation is adapted to be accessible to individuals with physical disabilities.

"We have CrossFit, yoga and running instructors," said Team Lawall's president, Ann Lawall. "We're just looking to get people back to doing the things they love doing, honestly."

The event took place today only for the second time since its founding in 2019. People of all ability levels enjoyed pushing their limits and discovering, or rediscovering, a new world of athletic opportunities.

"It's an amazing event and it just shows that, you know, disabilities aren't what you think that they are and that you can push yourself to the next level," said Brittany Blythe, who received a bilateral amputation as a 2 year old.

To learn more about Team Lawall and upcoming events, visit their website.

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