Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Parent to Parent: Shake-A-Leg Camp
Most moms and dads tend to be overprotective of their children. But parents of kids with disabilities can really be nervous letting them do things on their own. 7's Lynn Martinez shows us a very special summer camp that is helping to change that in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Gearing up for a day on the water means putting on your life jacket, covering yourself with sunscreen, loading up and heading out. But for these kids at Shake-A-Leg of Miami's summer camp, the experience means a lot more than that.
Jordan Calleiro: "Can I paddle or no?"
Counselor: "Yes sir!"
Jordan, Stephanie and Miguel have disabilities, but nothing stops them from a full day on Biscayne Bay. Staff members carefully load each child into a specially-fitted kayak, and the adventure begins.
Harry Horgan created Shake-A-Leg after he suffered a spinal cord injury. He knew South Florida's most precious resource would play a healing role.
Harry Horgan, CEO, Shake-A-Leg of Miami: "The water is the ideal environment for a person with a disability to be able to live life to the fullest."
Fourteen-year-old Stephanie has cerebral palsy. She's been coming to the Shake-A-Leg Camp for the past six years. Her mom says, she's seen a huge difference in her daughter's confidence level.
Elena Grillo, Stephanie's mother: "She interacts with regular kids, and she gets to kayak. I would have never imagined that she would have been able to kayak by herself, almost, and she does it."
Nine-year-old Jordan doesn't let his wheelchair stop him from enjoying his favorite activities with his friends.
Jordan Calleiro: "I get to, like, go on the water. You get to go out with your group."
Fifteen-year old Miguel has been coming to this camp for almost ten years. He loves sailing and steering the boat and admits to being a little nervous at first, but quickly got over that fear.
Miguel Caballero Perez: "Once you get over that first time of doing something, you want to keep on doing it."
His mom says, getting out on the water gives Miguel a sense of freedom and independence, and parents need to let go a little.
Maria Caballero Perez, Miguel's mother: "They're able to do things, which they are, but sometimes, we hold them back an awful lot. We are the ones that are scared, not them."
Miguel is now teaching other kids how to sail. And for the folks at Shake-A-Leg, they say, this is what the program is all about.
Harry Horgan: "When you believe that you can do something, and you have the right team and the right equipment, anything is possible in life."
Lynn Martinez: "Miguel says this program has given him the confidence to go after his ultimate dream. He wants to be a sports commentator when he grows up."
FOR MORE INFO ON SHAKE A LEG SUMMER CAMP:
2620 South Bayshore Drive
Coconut Grove, FL 33133