Karin Korb exemplifies her motto “Live to train, train to live” in everything she does. Whether it’s representing the United States in two Paralympic Games, or working with disabled youth and military veterans, she strives to make a difference in the world.
At age 17, Korb incurred a spinal cord injury while practicing a routine gymnastics vault that caused her to lose the use of both her legs. Relentless in pursing her dreams, she went on to become the No. 1 ranked women’s wheelchair tennis player in the US, and promotes wellness as a motivational speaker.
Korb will share her inspirational story of hope and determination as the featured guest speaker at “An Evening of Possibility,” a special event benefiting the Children’s Hospital Central California Adaptive Sports Program. The event will be held on April 20 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Pardini’s Restaurant in Fresno. In addition to Korb’s talk, activities will include a reception, cocktails, silent auction, raffle, dinner and an athlete awards presentation.
“Karin has a long list of impressive accomplishments,” said Dr. Jennifer Crocker, medical director, Children’s Hospital pediatric rehabilitation center. “She is such a wonderful example of what can happen when obstacles are turned into opportunities. We can all learn from her experience.”
Children’s Adaptive Sports Program shows what is possible
Dr. Crocker leads Children’s Adaptive Sports Program, which provides free recreational and athletic experiences for those with disabilities. The only one of its kind in the Central Valley, the program is designed for individuals with physical impairments and conditions ranging from cerebral palsy to spinal cord injuries. Disabled youth up to age 21 are especially encouraged to attend. Like Korb, the children learn that through hard work and determination, it is possible to participate in athletics, exceed expectations and achieve their dreams.
From water and snow skiing, to rock climbing, track and field, kayaking and power soccer, the program draws upon our region’s impressive resources to provide participants a fun experience and boost their health and confidence.
While visiting Fresno from the East Coast, Korb will also kick off the program’s first tennis clinic on April 21. “Our goal is to provide as wide a variety of activities as possible,” said Dr. Crocker. “We’re very honored to have Karin help us with our first tennis event.”
Local touchstone climbing gym donates use of facility
Children’s Adaptive Sports Program depends upon volunteers and donations. It has expanded from a staff-driven, summer clinic, to a formal Hospital program that offers various activities year-round.
Thanks to the generosity of MetalMark, a new touchstone climbing and fitness gym, for example, the program was able to recently add rock climbing. The Fresno indoor facility has donated the use of its 48-foot-high climbing wall complete with 12,000 square feet of climbing terrain as well as equipment, for two clinics since fall. Equipment was adapted as needed to accommodate participants’ individual disabilities.
“Rock climbing is a very active adventure sport that is typically difficult for patients with a physical disability to participate in on their own,” said Dr. Crocker. “But with help they can.”
“We’re very pleased to be involved in Children’s Adaptive Sports Program,” said Marie Garringer, general manager at MetalMark. “We tell kids it doesn’t matter your disability, you can always do something. We encourage everyone to keep active.”
Program making a difference
Diane Hernandez said Children’s Adaptive Sports Program has made a positive difference in the lives of her children, Shawn, 11, and Adrianna, 8. Both children have spina bifida, a developmental congenital disorder, and receive treatment at Children’s Hospital.
“My son and daughter really enjoyed the rock climbing,” said Hernandez. “Adriana has no fear, she’ll try anything. Shawn is shyer but he did well too. They’ve participated in water skiing too. I’m thankful for the program – it has helped build their confidence.”
This summer the program will offer another first: golf. “We’re continuing to expand,” said Dr. Crocker. “We want to reach more kids.”
For information and registration:
“An Evening of Possibility”
Registration is $75. To register and attend or become an event sponsor, contact Peggy Dunlap at Children’s Hospital Foundation at (559) 353-7108 or PDunlap@ChildrensCentralCal.org
Children’s Hospital Adaptive Sports Program:
For information on Children’s Hospital Adaptive Sports Program or to donate funds, equipment or expertise, contact Children’s Hospital Foundation at (559) 353-7100.
Children’s Hospital Adaptive Sports Program Tennis Clinic on April 21:
For details on time, location and to register free of charge, contact (559) 353-6130.