Overcoming Odds to Get Back on the Mountain

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo-For skiers and snowboarders there's no greater feeling than being on the mountain, and one young woman won't let anything have that feeling taken away from her.

"Well I love being on the slopes so much that I knew I had to find a way, to get out on them again," says Elizabeth Dunn, adaptive skier.

On October 23, 2010, Dunn was in a car accident and suffered a broken neck.

"I had a spinal cord injury at the C6 level, so I have use of half of my arms. Then, obviously, everything from my chest down is defected. So I have feeling, I'm an incomplete injury so I have some feeling and a little bit of control below my level of injury but not too much," says Dunn.

But Liz won't let her injury stop her.

"Well I love being on the slopes so much that I knew I had to find a way to get out on them again," adds Dunn.

Which may be easier said than done.

"Any spinal cord injury is pretty traumatic. It's severing all or parts of your spinal cord, which leads to sensory and motor impairments. It's not just walking that an individual's missing, but it's kind of day to day activity that you need to learn all over," says Liza Mchugh, Physical Therapist for the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Luckily, there are adaptive skiing programs to help people get back on the slopes.

"Adaptive skiing is any type of snow skiing that is adapted for anybody who a physical or cognitive disability or injury," says Sam Lovstad of Challenge Aspen.

Something that Liz says she's very grateful for.

"You know I'm just like any other skier on the slopes, really. So it's kind of nice to be included and it's hard but it's so much fun," adds Dunn.

Liz is from the north east and received her treatment at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Together with Challenge Aspen, adaptive skiers were able to travel to Colorado with all expenses paid for by a grant.

This is Liz's first time in Colorado and she says the views are amazing, along with the snow.


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