Bud Feuerstein is flying down the mountainside on an adaptive mono ski, a product of Outdoors For All (a nonprofit organization that enables recreational activities for individuals with disabilities).
Eight years prior, Bud would have been carving the slopes on his own set of skis, but due to a rare disease, he was left paralyzed from the chest down. Bud will never forget the night he was lying in bed and an odd sensation came over his body. Within seconds, he was paralyzed. Months later, he was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a disease in the multiple sclerosis family. Having a better chance of winning the lottery, Bud was blindsided by this diagnosis, and his life was forever changed.
With this earth-shattering news, Bud had two fears, one: he would never walk again, and two: he would never ski again. After three months in the hospital, Bud left in chronic pain and in a wheelchair. To this day, he suffers from chronic pain. With tremendous support from his family, Bud was reminded that he deserves to be happy. He decided, "I could either be happy or lie in bed miserable--I have the same pain either way." It was after that decision Bud discovered Outdoors For All and found himself skiing down Crystal Mountain one month after leaving the hospital. "I don't feel any pain when skiing," explained Bud. "It is freeing and exhilarating and it makes me smile."
For six years, Bud rehabbed tirelessly with little results. Doctors told him he would never walk again, but he did not accept that. Just over two years ago, Bud started walking again--a true miracle. After defying the odds, Bud walks, swims, and drives again--but not without pain or assistance. Passing him in the hallway, one would notice nothing but a slight stagger of one leg. One would never know that two years ago he was wheelchair bound. Although not stable enough to ski on his own, Bud has more control zooming down the mountain and he is now well enough to give back to his community by volunteering as a chaperone for Outdoors For All.
With such perseverance and incredible support, we believe Bud will be carving the mountainside on his own two skis again very soon. Throughout his experience with Outdoors For All, Bud has wanted to foremost inspire individuals to get outdoors and see outside their own bubble. "It is so easy," Bud says, "to be weighed down by your disease or disorder. Outdoors For All has helped me to see beyond my illness and continue to live my life."