'Show Your Shine' runway event raises awareness of limb loss, limb differences
The Limb Kind Foundation, a Long Island nonprofit, held its annual runway event Saturday night at the Sands in Atlantic Beach to raise awareness of limb loss and limb differences.
The "Show Your Shine" event featured 20 children and adults on the runway.
Some of the runway models were born without a limb. Others lost one or more limbs while serving in the military or because of an illness or accident.
Smithtown resident Matias Ferreira, who served in the Marine Corps, stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan. He lost his legs below the knees, which earned him a Purple Heart.
"Sometimes you're not given a choice on what happens in your life and the message to people is there is hope and there is other people that have gone through what you went through, and it does get better," Ferreira said.
Six-year-old Belle, of Huntington, lost her leg this year due to cancer.
“Having a limb difference is also kind of cool,” she said.
“This community is just beyond words for us... we're so grateful," said Belle’s mother, Sara Svoboda.
Proceeds from the event will go toward improving the lives of people with limb loss in the United States and in economically-developing countries.