Children with disabilities enjoy 9th annual Wee Can Ski event

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

June 10 was a great Saturday to be out at the lake...and some very special kids took advantage of it.

Children with disabilities showed that fun in the sun isn't limited to just those who can walk.

11-year-old Haley Baer made a grand entrance into uncharted territory: the water.

Nervous and a little scared, she went through the hand signals one last time.

And then she was up and out like a pro--with no wheelchair or obstacles, just her and the open water.

"It feels like you're flying because you go so fast," Haley said afterwards.

It was a moment her mom said she thought she'd never see.

"It means a lot to me she's able to do things like that."

That's because Haley is paralyzed from the waist down.

"It's hard on her," says her mom, "but she's strong willed."

The program is called Wee Can Ski. Volunteers from Fort Gordon and the Medical College of Georgia help kids with special needs enjoy a day of fun in the sun.

Kids who aren't normally able to walk on their own are given a chance to try a sport their disability normally wouldn't allow: water skiing.

With the help of special skis, made with built-in attachments, they glide across the water with ease.

"So many times these kids have to sit out on the sidelines and watch, and today they can participate," said event coordinator Julie Moretz.

And it's run like a well-oiled machine, with more than 300 volunteers both in and out of the water to make sure the kids are safe.

"Everything is well calculated," Moretz said.

And to five-year-old Anayah...it's home.

"I like the boat," she said, and she wasted no time getting back in it.

"She loves it," said her mother, Kisha McCray. "She's beside herself right now. Since last week she's been asking, 'Are we going to the pool? So I can swim like a fish?' She said, 'I want to swim like a fish'."

It's a taste of independence in a world with no limits.

This was the ninth annual Wee Can Ski event. Organizers say it grows every year.


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