Dana Cummings Teaches People with Disabilities to Hang Ten


Six-year-old Shaun McLaughlin learns to surf. Pic courtesy of Voice of America.

Dana Cummings wasn’t raised surfing, nor did he pick it up in his teenage years like many other aficionados. It wasn’t until a car accident cost him a leg that he took up the sport. It didn’t take him long to discover that riding the waves was changing his life. Cummings tells Voice of America:

I was just existing, not living. It took me to lose my leg to realize how precious life is and get off the couch and start living. I do more things now than I ever did before. Next week I am going to compete in a contest in Hawaii.

And Dana wasn’t content to keep his passion to himself. In 2003, he founded AmpSurf, a California-based non-profit that teaches surfing to people from across the disability spectrum. The organization does some great work, and Voice of America’s audio report is worth a listen. (A heads up: VoA is designed for non-native speakers of English, so the methodical, almost stilted delivery of its reporters is likely to strike your ears strangely if you’re fluent.) Also worth a look is 6-year-old Shaun McLaughlin catching a wave:

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