You can help kids like Ben and their families by making a donation today.

Please consider making a contribution to BORP part of your holiday and year end charitable giving.

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Angel and Ben's Story

Angel and Ben

My son Ben is a BORP participant and this our story about how generous people like you have made a huge difference in our lives by supporting BORP's adaptive sports and recreation programs.

When Ben was a toddler he was very sick. Our family lived in the hospital for nearly two months waiting for a heart transplant that would save his life. And then, after the successful surgery, we learned a blood clot had injured his spine, leaving him paralyzed. Needless to say, these events were life-changing for our family.

After Ben's illness, I organized every aspect of his life—I was like a hovercraft parent. As Ben grew up, using a wheelchair to get around, I made sure I was always nearby to help him. A day didn't go by without me wondering about Ben's future and how I could always be there.

Then, when Ben was eleven years old I brought him to his first basketball practice at BORP. It proved to be another life-changing experience for us both.

I was shocked when Coach Trooper Johnson, the Youth Sports Coordinator at BORP, had all the kids get out of their chairs. He then moved the chairs away from them and told them to get back in their chairs, unassisted! I had to fight against every maternal instinct not to run onto the court to help my son.

But then something I never expected happened. Ben did it! By himself. It was an incredible moment for both of us. But I got the idea that it was business as usual at BORP, where everyday triumphs lead to lifelong success.

This is the power of BORP. And thanks to people like you, Ben has been developing skills, confidence, and independence that he will carry with him throughout his life. And I have learned a lot, too. I thought Ben would always need extra help, but he's a normal teenage boy—the independence and confidence he now has is amazing.

In the years since that first practice, BORP has become an integral part of Ben's life. "I feel like I really belong here," he says. "At school all my friends are able-bodied, but it's cool to be around people who are like me. To do things with other people with disabilities and succeed together."

Sports have become an avenue to greater ambition, adventure, and achievement for Ben. Not just in basketball, but in life. He's much more independent at home and at school. Last summer Ben traveled to Missouri University with a BORP teammate for a basketball camp. I, the former hovercraft parent, let him go on his own. And now he's started to look into colleges with wheelchair basketball programs.

BORP has made this possible—but they can't do it without your help. Please consider making a contribution to BORP part of your holiday and year end charitable giving. Your contribution, no matter the amount, will have a direct impact on families like mine. I am so appreciative of everything Trooper and BORP have done for my son and for our family. Ben's future is bright and full of possibility. He has all the skills he needs to succeed thanks to people like you, who understand the power of sports to change lives. BORP gave Ben the gift of self-reliance, and me the gift of knowing that he will be just fine when I am not there to pick him up.

You can help kids like Ben and their families by making a donation today to BORP. Your gift will help fund programs that truly are life-changing, not only for kids like my son and for parents like me, who are able to cheer more and worry less.

Warmest Holiday wishes,
Angel Thornton

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