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DiveLife to Give Disabled People a Chance to ‘Fly’

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DiveLife Foundation is new non-profit organization of Emmons which cares about disabled children, adults and veterans, offering them adventurous ways to explore scuba diving and enjoy this experience without paying attention on what kind of problems they have.

A retreat with a number of residents to Camp Confidence in northern Minnesota a few years ago really got Emmons interested in new ways of engaging those he cared for. Emmons was given the chance to watch how they did some different adaptive things, such as fishing and climbing trees in ropes and he was astonished by the fact how he could get them involved like that. The camp was on a lake, so there was nothing more interesting than planning something concerning scuba diving.

After doing some research Emmons established communication with Diveheart Foundation in Chicago which had extensively worked with spinal cord injuries at Shriners Hospital. Emmons also became a certified diver instructor and due to his training at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin he was given certification from Handicap Scuba Association to instruct physically challenged people.

April was on the doorstep, so opening and the first dive of DiveLife was held at the Jul Gernes pool at St. Mary’s University. Veteran Dennis Hendricks and Winona resident Taylor Richmond became this extremely original therapy’s first representatives . Hendricks mentioned that taking into account the problems he had like disabled neck and left shoulder, damaged spinal nerve he thought he could never run, but then he found scuba diving and it was an amazing experience for him.

Emmons said that all this is just the beginning and there are more interesting plans for the future, also mentioning that scuba diving brings people together, giving a unique opportunity to disabled people to fly in the water.

Emmons announced that his goal is now try to make people become so confident to try scuba diving in the ocean. So flying in ocean is not a dream, people just have to believe in that!

Photo credits to 1,2

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