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Adaptive skiers hit the slopes at Roundtop Mountain Resort

For patients who have suffered traumatic injuries, including spinal cord injury and amputation, Adaptive Ski Day at Roundtop Mountain Resort was a different kind of physical therapy. Approximately 10 patients spent Feb. 14 on the mountain in Lewisberry, Pa., skiing and snowboarding with adaptive equipment while family and friends cheered them on.

Zach Sherman, who lost both legs and an arm in a motorcycle accident, likes coming to Adaptive Ski Day to make connections with people in similar physical conditions while also having fun.

“I can’t walk as fast as anyone else. I can’t run very fast at all, and lot of other activities I do I’m like the slowest person,” Sherman said. “But on the snow, it’s an even playing field for me.”

Family and friends weren’t the only ones cheering.

“To see someone who has suffered a traumatic injury come down the slope is just awesome to me,” said Nancy Lokey, nurse coordinator with the Department of Physical Medical and Rehabilitation at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, who helped organize the fourth annual event. “In all aspects of rehab, we strive to get patients to look at their abilities, not their disability. I love getting out here and seeing them enjoy the mountain.”

Adaptive Ski Day is hosted by the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital, Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics Inc. and Baltimore Adaptive Recreation and Sports (BARS). BARS instructors coach rehabilitation patients on how to use adaptive equipment so they can ski and snowboard.

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