I am Danamarie McNicholl-Carter, Miss San Diego’s Outstanding Teen 2011. When I was born I had hip dysplasia. I wore the Pavlik harness for 8 months, which assisted in allowing my ball and socket joint to develop correctly. Now I am a young adult and I want to use my title to increase the quality of life for disabled children. The San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation (SDASF) is very personal to me, because if my hip had not been able to heal correctly, I would have wanted and needed help to lead a more physically capable life.
SDASF’s mission is to improve the quality of life for children and adults with physical disabilities through sports and recreation. They provide competitive league sports, recreational team sports, instructional camps, and sports clinics. This program offers more then athletics, it changes a child’s outlook on life inspiring them and giving them and their families hope for their future.
My first experience volunteering was during a week-long junior wheelchair summer camp at Mission Bay last summer. That week changed my life! I helped transfer children from their wheelchairs into the kayaks, sailboats and into the different athletic sports chairs. I helped the children enjoy the different activities and participated with them in the games. I absolutely loved being helpful, getting to know the young athletes, and seeing them smile and enjoying every moment of their camp experience. I witnessed these children seeing beyond their disabilities and embracing the activities.
After my week of volunteering with this wheelchair sports camp, I did not want my involvement to end. I saw the determination in the eyes of the children and this motivated me to become more active. My dream is to send 11 children to this fun camp this summer on Mission Bay.
On May 15, 2011 I attended a 2k walk at Liberty Station in San Diego and raised enough money to send some very special children to wheelchair camp.