Dozens of people who are disabled learn to ski using special equipment at Smithville Lake

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SMITHVILLE LAKE, Mo. -- Many of us take getting out on the lake for granted during the summertime. Not so for those in wheelchairs.

About 50 people who've lost limbs or suffer from spinal cord injuries are learning how to water ski.

Ability KC helps these folks get a day of freedom out on the water. It means the world for those with disabilities to get involved with sports again, made possible with the help of adaptive equipment.

In May, we showed you 18-year-old Anna Sarol walking across the stage at her high school graduation after the gymnast suffered a spinal cord injury in 2015 that left her paralyzed.

Now, Anna is getting out on the lake to water ski, something she's never done before. She says she wants to show society that her life will not be limited.

"I know my friends who are able, they do go to the lake a lot," Sarol said. "So it’s awesome that I get to try new things and be able to show out and show the community that I can do things too."

Ability KC and Midwest Adaptive Sports provide the special equipment and volunteers to help those with spinal cord injuries balance on a mono-ski.

Clay County provides a no wake zone on the lake for the group, and there are volunteers both on the water and following on jet skis to make sure every disabled individual stays safe.

The goal is for participants to feel normal doing what everybody else does during hot summer days. And for those who work for years just to stand or walk again, the feeling of freedom they get on the water is priceless.

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