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Climbing for ROMP Takes on Crowders Mountain

The Range of Motion Project is a technology-based, nonprofit organization, which provides high quality prosthetic care in underserved populations, thus enhancing mobility and unlocking human potential. ROMP believes that prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces are not simply medical devices, but instruments of personal empowerment. ROMP recognizes the dual hardships of living in poverty with a disability, and stands in solidarity with those who are made to suffer from an unequal distribution of care.

Since 2005, ROMP has seen over 6,000 patients with custom-made prosthetic and orthotic devices in Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico, Haiti, Pakistan, and the US. The organization believes that training locals to provide ongoing services in their communities is the only way to fix a long-term problem. For example, the ROMP clinic in Guatemala is staffed by highly trained individuals, from the community, and is open to patients year-round. ROMP believes that all human beings are made to be mobile, regardless of geographic location or socioeconomic status, and that physical mobility is a critical component of social mobility and the pursuit of life’s many aspirations.

“For as long as I can remember, my family has been supporting the Range of Motion project—partly because someone very near and dear to us started this incredible organization, but even more so because of the impact that ROMP has had, and has the potential to create,” explains Rebecca Cook.

“In March of 2014, my mountain became taller,” notes Cook. “After an unexpected car accident, I found myself climbing mountains every single day to overcome each and every challenge that was presented before me. I began to evaluate my future and the things that truly made me happy. About a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to go to Zacapa, Guatemala, with an incredible group of individuals to help provide mobility to those in need.”

Cook’s story is not uncommon, as many times this type of service does not impact one’s mental or physical life until an incident. However, Cook choose to use her strength to overcome an obstacle to help encourage and promote a greater cause—ROMP.

“For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I was truly climbing higher, describes Cook. “I had finally found my passion and began applying for graduate programs in Orthotics and Prosthetics. As a current Masters Student at California State University, I have continued to learn just how important prosthetic care is for our patients, and that, potentially could be me!”

Additionally, Cook is a volunteer for ROMP, who coordinated and assisted with a climb in North Carolina. The event, which took place on July 22nd, was in commemoration with the organization’s annual event, Climbing for ROMP.

Climbing for ROMP was established in 2015 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. “It is a celebration of mobility and a call to action for fair access to prosthetic care everywhere,” cheers on Cook.

Crowders Mountain in North Carolina was the destination for a group of individuals, of all abilities, to join together and raise mindfulness for mobility. If you haven’t tackled this trail, take a visit just 25 miles from Charlotte for an easy getaway into the high country. The scenic views and prominent peaks make it an ideal destination for a challenging climb and beacon of awareness.

The free event welcomed participants from across the state and beyond to learn more about the cause while conquering a fete of their own. “It’s inspiring to see so many people come together, putting their best selves forward, symbolically taking on a global issue”, notes Cook.  In true ROMP fashion, the hike was dedicated to organization’s overall message: climbing to create change, and climbing to promote mobility for all individuals regardless of financial ability.

Together, in partnership with climbs such as the one at Crowders Mountain, we can make mobility happen. Cook invites all to give in any capacity that they can, and to mark the historic date for next summer. It is ROMP’s goal to continually take on even more mountains in worldwide locations. These climbs were, and always will be, for people of all skill level and physical condition, including individuals with disabilities.

For more information go to https://vimeo.com/205546783.