No Limits Foundation is a non-profit organization 501 (c)(3) providing camps for children with limb loss and differences. The camp aims to provide education, mentorship, and support to these children and their families. Camp No Limits fosters a welcoming and supportive community in the hopes of helping all those who attend the camp.
The dream of Camp No Limits started with a little boy named Nicholas. Nicholas was Mary’s very first patient with limb loss when she was working at a private pediatric therapy clinic in Maine. He was only two and a half years old and was missing three limbs. This didn’t stop Nicholas from being a cheerful kid with a big smile on his face and a spark in his eye. Mary found herself in awe of the young boy as he approached anything asked of him with steadfast determination and a willingness to give it a try.
Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics constructed Nicholas’ first prosthetics. From there Scott Hebert and Mary helped Nicholas adapt and realize the full potential of his new prosthetics. With the help of his body powered prosthesis Nicholas was able to feed himself with a spoon, write his own name, and wash his own face. By the time he was three years old he took his first steps! Mary’s experience with Nicholas left her with a determination of her own. Looking at the boy she wanted to make sure that he never lost his drive to succeed and that he never suffered under limits put on his potential.
The suggestion for creation of the camp came from a brainstorming session in 2004. The issue was how to motivate others with limb loss or difference to reach their full potential. The idea came from a fellow Occupational Therapist by the name of Bambi Lombardi (Otto Bock Health Care). She suggested a camp meant to educate both children and their families in the importance of physical and occupational therapy, adaptations, prosthetic options, and peer support. No such camp existed at the time and thus Mary Leighton had a drive to create it.
The very first camp took place in August 2004. It was hosted by Pine Tree Camp on their campground in Rome, Maine. Four families took a risk on something new by attending and Camp No Limits began to sprout. That small camp has only grown into something so much more, reaching across the country to provide kids and families the same care that Nicholas received years ago. There are now camps in Maine (including Camp sNOw Limits a winter camp), Missouri, Maryland, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, California, and Connecticut. With the help of so many amazing people and partnerships, like Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation, the camp has grown and is far from stopping.