OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – If you’ve never done it, you might think only the most athletic or fit can sky dive. But a group of kids in Overland Park proved that’s simply not true.
iFLY is an indoor sky-diving venue. On Monday, the facility hosted its second Kansas City April All Abilities Night. All month, they’ve raised money for HopeKids, a group that supports kids with cancer and their families.
Seven-year-old Wyatt Oshel said last year his prosthetic leg was stiff.
“I couldn’t even move it,” he said.
Bone cancer in his right knee joint sent the boy to 18 rounds of chemotherapy at Children’s Mercy Hospital last year.
“Along with the chemotherapy, in order to, to rid him of his cancer of this type, he also had to have a knee surgery,” Wyatt’s mother Rebecca Oshel said.
Doctors performed a rotationplasty, in which they removed his knee joint, rotated his leg 180 degrees, then re-attached it.
“His backward facing foot, his ankle, serves as his knee joint,” his mother said. “And so with him wearing his prosthetic, he can walk, run, ride his bike, tries to climb trees.”
He’s now an active boy with cancer behind him, thanks in part, his family said, to the support from HopeKids.
“You would never choose to go through a journey like this, but the organizations like HopeKids really make it easier,” Wyatt’s mother said.
The group puts on events, and not just for the patients.
“We really want to focus on the entire family unit because it’s not just that one child that’s affected,” executive director Kerrie Bryant said.
“The siblings go through a journey, too,” Rebecca Oshel agreed. “Granted, it’s not exactly the same as the patient, but their lives have been disrupted as well.”
She said her son always wants to move and is always on the go.
“He just loves life, and the smile on his face just helps other people love life, too,” she said.