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Jordan met Lizzie during her first Camp No Limits. (2009) Lizzie is a permanent VIP in our books and a wonderful mentor.

Every year since Jordan was three and a half, we’ve traveled to the eastern side of Missouri to take part in Camp No Limits Missouri. We’ve grown with the camp that started with four families and now has more families than I ever imagined. Kids of all ages and experiences attend the special camp.

And we’re going to miss it this year.

Jordan was given the opportunity to work on her softball skills by spending a week with the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball team. This is the third year for the program’s summer kids camp that invites 20 children (ages 8-12) to spend time with the team and improve their skills and learn from each other. At least one of Jordan’s Camp No Limits Missouri friends will be there, so she won’t be lonely. She’s also very good at making new friends. It’s so exciting and sad at the same time. The camp we look forward to each and every year will not be possible in 2015.

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We’ve known our friend Josh Kennison for years and can thank Camp No Limits for introducing us.

Instead, the first full week of June will have Jordan and I in Mission Viejo, California learning from some of the best amputee softball players around. How amazing is that?

Because we’re missing our favorite camp, and because we work so hard to fundraise for it, Jordan and I plan to attend Camp No Limits Maryland in September. It’s a whole new group of families – even though we will have already met some through Born Just Right and other limb different groups and events. I’m really excited to expand our Camp No Limits experience into a new place. At the same time, we’re crushed to miss some of the people who have become a special part of every summer.

By they way, if Camp No Limits inspires you, the organization’s board of directors are working to raise $20,000. If it reaches that goal, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium will MATCH those donations. $40,000 can go a long way for camp. You can donate by going to this FirstGiving web page.

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In advance of my first opportunity to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (#DisneySMMC) next month at Walt Disney World, each Thursday I’m sharing details about Walt Disney World adventure experience I haven’t shared yet on Born Just Right. So far, I’ve shared Jordan’s 9th birthday at Magic Kingdom Park and our Wild Africa Trek experience.

disney-one-hand-born-just-rightAfter spending so much time at Walt Disney World in the last year, we’ve come to know the rides and games through and through. Both kids know exactly what they want to do and how they’re going to do it. We’ve attended the parks so often in the last few years, I rarely even think about Jordan’s limb difference because she’s able to do everything you can imagine.

Not long after our family trip, I had a Born Just Right mom ask me if Jordan is able to play the games or if she needed to use her helper arm. I hadn’t thought about using helper arms. And I hadn’t really thought about ways Jordan manages her way around the parks with one hand. But I thought about it and I have a few tips for anyone visiting Walt Disney World with one hand.

1. Cast Members can pitch in if needed.
Jordan and Cameron had a really special moment last year when an Animal Kingdom Cast Member got down on a knee to help Jordan complete a two-handed Wilderness Explorer pledge. The moment made me tear up a little because the cast member reacted in such a natural way to help Jordan.

2. There are ways to work around rides that seem to require “two hands.”
Toy Story Mania is a 3D game where you participate in games similar to what you’d play at the county fair. Jordan usually sticks her little arm into the “wheel” to steer the “gun” and uses her hand to pull the string. Her scores get better every time she plays and she actually beat me once this year. (We can blame my capal tunnel… but I think she’s just getting really good at the game.) Jordan has a similar system when she plays on the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger ride.
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3. If you have any questions about rides and which ones are accessible, be sure to visit Guest Relations.
There is a Guest Relations building in each one of the Walt Disney World parks. I visited the first time Jordan was old enough to ride the rides to make sure she wouldn’t get kicked off of anything. I’ve heard of horror stories at other parks. (Especially Six Flags parks) We haven’t faced any discrimination on rides at Disney World. No Cast Member has ever blinked as she’s gotten onto a ride.

4. You do not need a Disability Access Service Card (DAS) for an upper limb difference.
The DAS card helps those with cognitive or physical challenges set up return times to ride rides so they don’t have to wait in a long line. The DAS card is a little more than a year old and continues to go through some changes. By the end of April, it’s reported Disney will include DAS services in combination with MagicBands. Either way, be sure to visit Guest Relations before putting the DAS system to work if you or your family needs it.

One hand, two hands, no hands.. Whoever you are, I consider Walt Disney World a special place to be you. The park is one of our “safe places” for our family. Sure, there’s people looking. But we feel free to be us and take part in any and all activities available at the parks. It’s a great feeling and a big reason why we keep returning.

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Make a big impact for Camp No Limits

April 15, 2015

For years, we’ve spent a lot of time and energy raising money for Camp No Limits. It’s a camp that has helped empower Jordan to be as able and strong as possible as a nine-year-old. Our six years with the program has introduced us to wonderful mentors and friends along with families who have become friends […]

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A DC experience everyone should try at least once

April 14, 2015

Waking up early isn’t my favorite thing to do in the world. But I try to do it at least once every time I visit somewhere away from home. Why? Because I’ve found running in the morning at sunrise gives you a peek into a different location in a way you can’t see at any […]

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A West Wing adventure at the White House

April 13, 2015

Our trip to DC had so many cool moments but one of the most memorable was a chance to spend time in the West Wing of the White House. My good friend Sara not only travels to our home in Missouri to help me clean the house, she also introduced us to one of the […]

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What it’s really like going gray

April 10, 2015

Last month, I had a really fancy opportunity to help shoot a video about letting your hair go gray. I’ve battled it for years and I reached that point where the hair in front of my face was just too platinum to fight anymore. But I wasn’t sure what to do. Luckily I work for […]

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Throwback to Disney’s Wild Africa Trek

April 9, 2015

In advance of my first opportunity to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (#DisneySMMC) next month at Walt Disney World, each Thursday I’m looking back to a Walt Disney World adventure experience I haven’t shared yet on Born Just Right. Last week, I shared how we celebrated Jordan’s 9th birthday at Magic Kingdom Park. This week, I […]

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Jordan (and her family) goes to DC

April 8, 2015

If your mom works in Washington, DC, you’d think you would have a chance to visit all the time. But if you live in the middle of the country, it might take two and a half years! But when you have two and a half years to plan out five days, you know it’s going […]

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Book Review: Learning about Emmanuel’s Dream

April 3, 2015

A special part of the Born Just Right community is having the chance to learn about great people, events and even books. A publicist reached out to give us a chance to read Emmanuel’s Dream, The True Story of Emanuel Ofusu Yeboah. The book is illustrated beautifully and tells the story of Emmanuel who was born […]

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Partnering with Type-A Conference

April 2, 2015

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. All of my opinions about Type-A Conferences are mine. I’m all about announcements this week! Born Just Right is excited to be an official blog partner with the Type-A Conferences (that’s an affiliate link). Why, you […]

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Throwback to an epic Disney birthday

April 2, 2015

Jordan’s ninth birthday and our epic trip to Walt Disney World was at the end of December but I figured now was a great time to share her experience and start a weekly Disney Throwback Thursday series. I’m counting down to an amazing opportunity to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Walt Disney […]

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Celebrate differences during Limb Loss Awareness Month

April 1, 2015

It doesn’t come with a lot of shirts or ribbons but today, the Amputee Coalition launches its fifth year of Limb Loss Awareness Month. This year, the organization is looking to help prevent older adults from amputations by checking for possible circulatory problems in feet. It’s not the focus many families have when it comes to limb loss […]

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Being true to myself… As a grown up

March 11, 2015

I have spent years helping encourage Jordan to be herself. Be proud. Don’t hide. As I’ve focused on those lessons, I’ve spent a consistent amount of time hiding something about me: My hair color. I started going gray when I was 18. That was a while ago and through the years, my hair has gotten […]

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A Disney On Ice-Inspired Elsa

March 6, 2015

Not to outdo our big #DisneySide party last weekend, Jordan and I also traversed through messy post-snow highways to see one of the final St. Louis showings of Frozen Disney on Ice. As I’ve mentioned before, Jordan has realized a connection with Elsa. In the movie, the snow queen’s frozen powers lead her to hide from the […]

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Sharing our #DisneySide with a pile of kids

March 5, 2015

It’s my second year sharing a really fun party focused on all things Disney. We received free products in order to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration from Disney Parks and Mom Select. The opinions expressed here are my own. If anything, our love of Disney became incredibly clear last year. We had a chance to visit Walt Disney World […]

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