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IN THE NEWS

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Register names Outdoor Sportsperson of the Year

December 31, 2012

The Orange County Register / David Whiting

'Blade runner' gains traction in her second chance at life

September 2, 2012

The Orange County Register / Teryl Zarnow

Marathon effort to benefit challenged athletes in Africa

August 25, 2012

The Orange County Register / Fred Swegles

Long Beach Company Leads the Way in Providing First-of-its-kind GeniumĀ® Bionic Prosthetic System to those with Lower Limb Loss

June 26, 2012

Human Designs Press Release

Human Designs Helps Local Woman Receive a Life Changing Gift - Watch us on Telemundo!

April 13, 2012

Human Designs Press Release

Human Designs Patient Video Profile

November 23, 2010

Human Designs YouTube Channel

Loss of limbs, motion, doesn't kill dreams

Nov. 11, 2010

The Orange County Register / David Whiting

Human Designs Prosthetics and Orthotics Awarded ABC Accreditation

May 13, 2010

Human Designs Press Release

Human Designs Volunteers at the Tour de Cure in Long Beach

May 4, 2010

Human Designs Press Release

Paralyzed woman finishes Boston Marathon

April 19, 2010

The Orange County Register / David Whiting

Ex-firefighter longs to help others again

November 28, 2009

Sun Post News / Debbie L. Sklar

One leg or none, yet plenty to stand on

October 30, 2009

The Orange County Register / David Whiting

A Day in the Life of... Beth Sanden

October 16, 2009

Coast Magazine / Jessica Forsyth

Orange Slices: A New Leg

September 05, 2009

The Orange County Register / Michael Goulding

Winning Attitude: Obstacles aren't barriers for Long Beach's Most Inspiring Students

May 28, 2009

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Kevin Butler

Katrina Victim Gets a New Leg

November 24, 2005

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Karen Robes

Leg Loss Doesn't Stop Bodyboarder

January 15, 2001

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Paul Young

Jami Goldman's Run for the Gold -- on Prosthetic Legs

November 17, 1999

Business Week / John M. Williams

 

More News

Ex-firefighter longs to help others again

November, 28, 2009

Sun Post News / Debbie L. Sklar

One leg or none, yet plenty to stand on

October 30, 2009

The Orange County Register / David Whiting

A Day in the Life of... Beth Sanden

October 16, 2009

Coast Magazine / Jessica Forsyth

Orange Slices: A New Leg

September 05, 2009

The Orange County Register / Michael Goulding

Winning Attitude: Obstacles aren't barriers for Long Beach's Most Inspiring Students

May 28, 2009

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Kevin Butler

Katrina Victim Gets a New Leg

November 24, 2005

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Karen Robes

Leg Loss Doesn't Stop Bodyboarder

January 15, 2001

Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) / Paul Young

Jami Goldman's Run for the Gold -- on Prosthetic Legs

November 17, 1999

Business Week / John M. Williams

 

Winning Attitude

Obstacles aren't barriers for Long Beach's Most Inspiring Students

 

May 28, 2009 (Long Beach, CA) - When he fell ill in 2006, doctors didn't think that Ali Omran would be around to continue his favorite athletic hobbies of four-square and tag.

The 9-year-old student at Lowell Elementary School is still doing both activities, even after a mysterious illness nearly killed him and forced doctors to amputate a part of each leg.

Parents and school staff have been astounded by Ali's resilience and positive attitude.

Instead of shying away from talking about his condition, the third-grader eagerly shows off his prosthetic legs to other students.

"Somebody called me a cyborg," he said. "I said, 'That's cool,' and I was like, 'Yeah, I know."'

Ali is among about 90 students in the Long Beach Unified School District who are being recognized as the "Most Inspiring Student" at their individual schools. A dinner will be held tonight to honor the award winners.

When Ali became sick and saw a massive swelling of his limbs and face, his parents were worried that he would not recover.

Doctors, who still remain unsure about the nature of the ailment, at one point told parents that Omran had only a 5 percent chance of survival, his father Zaid Omran recalled.

But Ali suddenly began responding well to treatment. The illness had impaired circulation to his limbs. His legs were so damaged that doctors said that amputation was required to prevent further harm, his father said.

After a series of partial amputations of the leg, Ali was released from the hospital. Although initially he didn't even want to look at his legs, Ali soon adjusted to the change, more quickly than his parents did, Zaid said.

Ali's good attitude helped his peers get used to and accept his condition, his father added.

"It's like he understood that if he doesn't make a big deal out of it (his peers) won't," he said.

 

A positive vision

Butler K-8 student Dorothy Ing's life changed suddenly in sixth grade when she woke up and could see virtually nothing out of her right eye.

Doctors told her she has keratoconus, a degenerative eye condition in which the cornea thins and changes shape.

The vision in Dorothy's right eye improved somewhat with treatment. But in eighth grade the same condition erupted in her left eye, deeply upsetting her.

She began wondering, why has this happened to me?

Then, "I just got over it," said Dorothy, her school's Most Inspiring Student.

"If I just keep letting it pull me back, I'm not going to get where I want to be in life," she added.

Dorothy, 14, gets help in school from teachers who give her enlarged copies of classroom materials. To read, she has to pull the paper close to her nose.

Doctors tell her that she may eventually have to get a corneal transplant.

Ing said that her condition has been "more of a motivation than something that is pulling me back."

She has kept focused on school and maintaining a positive outlook, she said.

"I've learned that nothing can set you back," she said.

 

A good attitude

Eighth-grader Slater Astle went from a preschooler with speech difficulties to become the lead in a school musical at Tincher K-8 School, which named him Most Inspiring Student.

Teachers describe the 14-year-old as dedicated and outgoing.

Karen Wallace, who taught Astle in third grade, said she was impressed with his work ethic and his ability to connect with his peers.

"He's very persistent, very positive, very patient with his classmates," she said.

"He's just a very good role model."

Principal Bill Vogel said that he also is impressed, calling Slater a "bubbling, positive individual."

"He's just a go-getter," Vogel added. "He has a reach- for-the-stars attitude."