SEVERANCE, Colo. — A 5th-grade amputee in Severance continues to marvel in athletics as she’s now picked up snowboarding after competing nationally in track and field this past year.
Carmen Wilkey, 11, recently trained at the Ski Spectacular in Breckenridge for adaptive athletes and Paralympians.
“They just sent her out a new snowboarding leg that she’s trying out, so that’s incredible,” said Carmen’s dad, Mike Wilkey. “So – she has three brand new legs.”
Denver7 first introduced you to Carmen, then 10, and her family last summer as she was training for Nationals in track and field.
“In her first season, she set the record for her gender, age group and classification,” Mike Wilkey said. “The national record.”
Carmen was born with fibular hemimelia.
“I didn’t have my (left) fibula or my ankle or my pinky toe, so like this whole entire side – it didn’t develop,” Carmen Wilkey explained.
“So, the doctors had to remove it,” Mike Wilkey said.
A scary thing for her mom and dad to navigate. Then, Bekah Wilkey, Carmen’s mom, saw an article in a local newspaper.
“It had a little boy in front, pulling a snowboard and he had fibular hemimelia, as well,” said Bekah Wilkey. “And I just had this overwhelming feeling that it was going to be okay. And that Carmen would be able to have opportunities, as well.”
The story struck a chord with Denver7 viewers who donated more than $12,000 to Carmen through the Denver7 Gives campaign so she could continue to compete at the highest level with the highest performing prosthetics.
“We had a couple of amazing opportunities this year,” Mike Wilkey said. “The big one was first being able to get out to Amputee Blade Runners in Nashville. And that really has just set Carmen on a new trajectory.”
“I’m guessing she’s just crushing it in life in general, too?” Denver7’s Russell Haythorn asked Mike Wilkey.
“Oh yeah. We had to take a week off school in order to do the Ski Spectacular and she got her homework for the whole week done on the first night,” Mike Wilkey said. “She just, she couldn’t let that hang over her head. Every single dollar, like, that dollar went to lunch for Carmen on the mountain. It was direct support for us to be able to do these programs, to be on the mountain. (Your viewers) made this happen.”
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