DASA is honored to get to do what we do every day. Our disabled athletes achieve amazing feats that go beyond anything we could’ve ever imagined. See what our DASA family has to share and get inspired.
“This night at Camp WeCanDu reminded me of how amazing DASA and its members truly are. A community bond exists unlike one I have ever been a part of. The kids amaze me every year growing in their compassion and maturity. I am so thankful to take part in Camp WeCanDu.”
“My son Christian is legally blind and has cerebral palsy. He was in physical therapy and/or occupational therapy from the time he came home from the hospital until he was 18 years old. We have moved all over the country and experienced many different philosophies and approaches regarding therapy. When we moved to St. Louis, we found DASA and it has been life-changing for Christian.
After a short time with DASA, he was able to stop therapy in a clinical setting as he was getting similar muscle movements and workouts through all the different DASA programs he was involved in. His passion has become wheelchair racing and road racing. His functional fitness workouts have built strength, speed, and endurance. The competitive nature of racing and all of the DASA sports has given him new purpose and drive.
When we lived in Huntsville, AL, Christian was on an IEP in school and had a teacher indicate that he should be placed in the “back of the school” (most disabled and challenged student). We believed that this teacher underestimated Christian’s abilities and we continued to work with him. We are excited to see him thriving now as a freshman at Missouri State University. We truly believe he will become a contributor to
society and an independently living adult. While this speaks to his character and drive, it also is a testament to DASA and the programs that we discovered 6 years ago.
In 2016, Christain went to the Paralympic Trials for Track & Field and competed in two races alongside some of the best racers in the country – a few who represented Team USA at the Paralympic Games in Rio. He continues his Paralympic training today.”
“These counselors are rare and I trust them more than I do most Para’s at their school and counselors at other camps. I have no concerns with supervision because after 2 perfect years, they have earned my trust and I have so much love and respect for all of them!”
“Josh has been a part of DASA for several years now and the growth I have seen in him has been amazing. Not only has his strength improved (personally, if we had to choose between his PT or going to DASA, DASA would win hands down) but his independence and desire to achieve things on his own has as well. When he doesn’t have to focus on his physical ‘diffabilities’ as much, he can tune in to his intellectual and social abilities. It’s been a true blessing to be a part of this organization and see my son blossom.”
“…our son has never been away from home before and has extreme anxiety. He gained so much confidence and independence during the week that still shows on a daily basis.”
Our son Liam and our family have been a part of DASA for several years. The first program Liam joined was swimming, then soon after, he found his passion for archery. He loves it! We’ve watched from the first session where he needed to use a stand and several different adaptations with a target only a short distance away to today where he only needs a biscuit to help him line up his arrow – he gets a bullseye almost every week! He has also learned golf and made great strides there too, in ways we could’ve never imagined. After his last orthopedic surgery, we decided to go to the Ability Gym while waiting for and then doing regular PT at the same time. PT just wasn’t providing the in-depth therapy that Liam needed, so we quit PT and stayed with Willie at DASA instead.
As of this school year, Liam has now gained enough strength that he can easily walk through his entire school building keeping up with his schedule and his peers. He no longer has to be first in line to stay by the teacher because he can keep up! And he isn’t coming home exhausted needing a nap from just the physical exertion of the day. The teacher who has known Liam throughout all of elementary school comments to me every chance she gets just how much progress she has seen in Liam this year. He is remembering, recalling, and retelling information that just last spring he could not. From kindergarten, I have always known he does better remembering when he is moving. I feel strongly that the success Liam has had is strongly influenced by the opportunities he has had through DASA. We are forever grateful.
“So many times in the real world, our daughter gets left out or has to sit on the sidelines and watch other kids participate. Not with Camp WeCanDo! More importantly, she made friends and had fun and was able to be a kid without limits. As hard as it was to leave her for the week I’m so thankful I did – it still brings tears to my eyes just looking at the pictures and thinking my child was doing all of the things any other kid can do. I don’t think saying thank you is enough to express how I feel.”