Amputee Coalition National Conference Greensboro, NC June 8-11, 2016

The Miller's traveled to the conference this year for the first time to learn more about the event and the Amputee Coalition. In a nutshell, it was fabulous! We wanted to share as much with the Mid-Ohio Valley as possible, so here read on!

Juanita Mengel from the Columbus group Amps4Ohio picked Nancy Miller up early Wednesday morning, and they headed down to the Support Group Leaders Summit.

Juanita Mengel and Nancy Miller

The room was filled with group leaders from all over the country. We also met the employees from the Amputee Coalition. The groups shared information on successful speakers, activities and membership.

That night I met new friends while plotting out the agenda for the next day. Check out Paula's bling!

BK Bling!

Paula is super active, and just ran 5K in Eugene, OR. So - of course we made plans to run together the next day. After the run, we headed to the pool to watch the "First Swim" event with OPAF (Orthotic & Prosthetics Activities Foundation). Wow, what an event that was. The swim instructor was Mabio Costa from Brazil. He was a Triathlon World Champion in 1996 for Brazil and 2004 for the USA! I learned how to help people get in and out of the pool by putting the chair close to the pool, lowering down and getting in from there. Never hop, you may slip!

First Swim with OPAF

Traveling with Juanita was so beneficial. She introduced me to so many people, and arranged a dinner on Friday night.

One person she pointed out was Reggie Showers. Reggie became a motorcylce racer after his amputations. Recently, he crossed the Serengheti Desert with an initial crew of 20 for the National Geographic TV Show, Mygrations.

Reggie Showers and Keating

Reggie was also interviewed at the conference. You can listen to his interview by clicking the button below. One point he made was to be confident. Even if you don't feel confident, fake it and eventually you'll get there.

After attending the support group leader summit, and several other sessions, I became super impressed with Mona Patel. On the last day of the conference, I found out that she led a group of amputees to climb Mount Kilamanjaro in December 2015. Are you kidding me!??! In fact, she closed the meeting with her video of the climb. Wow - another Rock Star!

Mona Patel with her boyfriend, George Jahant, while climbing Machu Picchu.

The next morning I went to yoga. The gym was packed! Some people used chairs, others used mats. The yoga instructor was also an amputee. I loved seeing the amount of participation in all of the activities: Swimming, Yogo, First Climb, First Cross Fit, First Dance, Walking and Running Clinics, and even Hula Hooping!

Rush Foot compiled all the HOT dance moves of the WONDERFUL people we met at the 2016 Amputee Coalition of America National Conference and made a video of the Justin Timberlake "Can't Stop the Feeling"! This video really helps to capture the excitement of the event.

Mark and Keating made it to the meeting Friday evening. Everyone really loved Keating. In fact, I must have taken over 100 pictures of Keating with different attendees. Good thing I taught him the sit and smile trick!

Keating hanging out in the exhibit hall and lobby
Here is Woody from Cast Ministries demonstrating the water ski. Be sure to check out the Ampuski event in Ohio this July 16 in Ostrander, Ohio.

The event wrapped up with dinner and a dance. The dance floor was packed all night, starting with the first song. What a fun party!

Check out this disco leg!

The very next weekend, Nancy headed over to Powell, Ohio to volunteer with TAASC's Water Sports Weekend. The tag line is "If I can do this, I can do anything!" I met a new friend, Stacy, on a sail boat. She said how empowering sports can be. Here are a few pictures from that day!

Be sure to get involved and learn how you can enhance your life! And if you need help - let us know and we'll be there! Mark & Nancy Miller or call us 740-421-4211

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