BLAKESLEE, Pa. (CBS) – The slopes at Jack Frost are open, even for those with some physical limitations. The program gives everyone a chance to have fun on the mountain.
Sierra Fudala is one of the many members of Jack Frost’s Adaptive Programs, which allows skiers with physical and mental disabilities to experience the sport.
“Autism, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, post-stroke, amputees — anyone needing a little extra help, they come through our program,” said Michelle Griffiths.
Instructors use ski bras, ropes and hula hoops to help people down the hill.
When Sierra’s sitting in the sled, one of her favorite things is going fast.
“She’s like a local ski mountain celebrity,” said Griffiths.
Sierra has tetrasomy 18, a rare chromosome disorder. She wasn’t able to walk until she was five.
Mike Fadala is an instructor and Sierra’s father, who says the day she stood and skied was one of the proudest of his life.
“When she was born, they told us she’ll never talk, never walk. To see her today, how social she is with skiing and everything else is amazing,” said Fadala.
That’s the gift of the program.
The anxiety at the start and the smiles at the end – and every stride in between.
The Adaptive Program at Jack Frost started in the 1990s and now has 18 instructors and helped 240 people last year alone.