Written by Amy Di Leo Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00
As an amputee, Caleb Giordano is used to stares and double takes. But for five days a year, the 15 year old from Carle Place can escape that as he’s canoeing, playing basketball or goofing around-just like any other teen-at the Amputee Coalition’s Paddy Rossbach Amputee Camp.
For the past two years, for five days in July, the Carle Place High School sophomore has attended the Paddy Rossbach Amputee Camp, outside Cincinnati, OH, with dozens of kids from across the country who, like him, may be missing an arm, a leg, or maybe all four limbs.
Caleb is a right above the knee amputee. (RAK). Born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD), a rare non-heredity birth defect that caused his thighbone to not completely grow in utero, his right leg was noticeably shorter than his left, says his dad. When Caleb was about a year old, the Giordano’s made the decision to amputate Caleb’s foot and give him a thighbone so Caleb would be able to use a prosthetic leg. It was a decision that the Giordano’s, especially Caleb, are grateful they made.
“My leg hasn’t slowed me down at all in life,” shares Caleb. “It has actually given me some incredible opportunities, such as going to the camp.”
What makes this camp so “incredible” is that, set on 315 acres in Clarksville, OH, kids can fish and canoe, play basketball, do archery, climb an indoor rock wall, swim, or dangle 50’ in the air on a high-ropes course. But most importantly they can enjoy these activities without the concern of being ridiculed or bullied. Caleb may have said it best, “It’s a safe place.”
Back on Long Island, the nearly six-foot-tall teenager is a typical kid. He spends his free time playing videogames with his buddies and watching his three younger sisters. He also manages his high school football and baseball teams. But in his world in Carle Place, he is the only amputee.
“It changes everyone who comes to this camp,” shares Caleb, who admits he came home from camp last year with more confidence and maturity. “I think it’s the best experience I will have in my life,” he shared. “Why? Because I had never seen so many amputees before.” He adds, “you can’t get made fun of there.”
“Camp has opened up a whole new world for him,” says dad Anthony. “I would even say there was a sense of joy in him because of the experience. He was also more confident.
Not just from going out on his own without his parents, which is huge. But also from finding support and love and compassion from people who have been through the same
experiences. I could never give those things to him.”
Kids attend Paddy Rossbach Amputee Camp for free, including transportation. For more about information, visit amputee-coalition.org.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:00
Westbury’s Cemetery of the Holy Rood is the largest cemetery in all of the Town of North Hempstead, with more than 12,000 interments, and is still active. Westbury Friends Cemetery is the oldest, dating back to 1702, and is also active.
Westbury is the eternal resting place of designer Oleg Cassini, former CIA Director William Casey, who served under President Reagan, and Margaret “Unsinkable Molly” Brown, a Titanic survivor.
These are just a few of the nuggets of local history that Howard Kroplick has recorded in his exhaustive study of the town’s 28 cemeteries.
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
It’s not uncommon for adults to develop a yearning to relive the simple pleasures and pastimes of their youth. While some take up spending a few bucks here and there to recapture some base nostalgia in the form of a shirt or action figure, there’s a local group of gentlemen who take it to a whole different level.
Since 1947, the West Island Model Railroad Club has given train enthusiasts a place to congregate and indulge their hobby on a grand scale. Club president, Vic Grappone, says he’s personally been interested in model trains since...well, forever.
“I’m 57 years old now, and I’ve been into trains for probably 56 of them,” he said. “It started with a Lionel train set that my father bought me, and that got me hooked very early, which is probably the case with a lot of the guys here.”
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Three Westbury runners won awards on Sunday, Nov. 17 in the fifth annual Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer, a 5 kilometer road race that started and finished at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park. Leading the way for the strong Westbury contingent was 10-year-old Johnny Schmuck, who earned the second place award in the 14 and under age group with a time of 22 minutes, 28 seconds. Johnny’s mom Susan Schmuck took home first place in the Athena 140-159 Weight Division with a time of 25:55. 42-year-old Jenney Tesoriero was the 2nd finisher in the women’s 40-44 age group, crossing the finish line in 23:44.
The race was held by the Town of Oyster Bayand and raised money to help in the fight against prostate cancer. Free prostate cancer screenings were offered on-site, as well as informative urology and men’s health exhibits, refreshments and prizes for participants.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Taylor Ruscillo, a 2013 graduate of Carle Place High School, was recently named Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week. Ruscillo is a freshman field hockey player at American International College (AIC). She netted a goal in the team’s final game vs. St. Michael’s, a 4-0 victory. She finished her season with two goals and one assist.
AIC Field Hockey coach Christina Needham says that Ruscillo has been a great addition to the school’s field hockey program.
“She is eager to learn, and brings an open mind to the field every day. Her Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week award in the final week is a reflection of her commitment to our program and to improving,” Needham said.