TAMPA - "When you're on the water, it's just a great feeling,” said Brad Kendell, Co-founder Never Say Never Foundation Pirate Camp.
Some say salt water can heal—tears, sweat, the ocean. In Brad Kendell's case, all three are true.
"It's almost like freedom. You can get out of your wheelchair. You can take your prosthetic legs off if you need to. Some people sail with them on. Take your arm off. It doesn't matter,” he explained.
Kendell is a double amputee who lost his legs in a 2003 plane crash. He's also a United States Paralympic sailor helping youngsters gain confidence on vessels that have been a positive force in his life.
"It's their first time on a boat, first time on the water and once they get off, they don't want to get off.,” he said.
Kendell is a co-founder of the Never Say Never Foundation Pirate Camp. The Florida based non-profit works to teach kids from all over the country with prosthetics to rig and sail.
"I cry. That's why I'm glad I have sunglasses on a lot of the time because just to see the elation and the excitement in these kids faces is unbelievable,” said Claudia Nable, President Sailability of Greater Tampa Bay.
Nable's non-profit is a camp partner. This year 40 kids, ages 8 to 18-years old, and their families leave adversity on Clearwater's shore but the group needs the community's support to make their camp happen.
"It really isn't about sailing. It's about empowerment, you know, doing something you didn't think you could do before,” she said.
"We just enjoy seeing the smiles on the kids' faces more than anything,” said Kendell.
The Never Say Never Foundation is only about halfway there with donations and camp is just two weekends away starting Friday October 11.
Elder Ford donated two transportation vans to drive the kids from the hotel to the sail center.
You can donate my visiting the foundation’s website at www.neversayneverfoundation.org/2nd-annual-pirate-camp/ . You can find out more about Sailability at www.sailabilitygreatertampabay.org
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