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Richmond Times-Dispatch from Richmond, Virginia • 41

Location:
Richmond, Virginia
Issue Date:
Page:
41
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

Squidjigging HirljmonD Simrs-Difipatfl) Seciion potential as a squid-harvesting area has been rated favorably Page 7 Sunday August 1 1982 what true limit is to A- i I 41 i4 Story by Richard Gordon Photographs by Amir Pisdad and communication She and Hamilton thought a similar program could help the physically and mentally handicapped live more independently spur them to new achievements and help them learn about themselves The schedule for the 19-day sessions the second of which begins Tuesday is grueling The campers spenl the first three days at a Caroline County campsite owned by the state Easter Seal Society one day at the New Kent "ropes two days canoeing 18 miles on the James River two days backpacking in the Shenandoah National Forest and two more days at the Caroline site disabled need to be educated that they can do some- thing like Hamilton said "Too often been assumed this is something that only able-bodied people can Several people help lift Schisler onto the ladder Without pausing even to get his bearings he reaches up with his right hand and begins to pull himself toward the other end The others steady the ladder and stand by to keep him from foiling t- Schisler a round-faced man with dart hair and liquid brown eyes is different from the rest of the group in several ways For me thing he is the only one who once had no handicap The other three campers have always been mentally retarded He is also the most open in expressing his feelings His confession on the first day that he was lonely helped to clear the air and create a feeling of closeness in the group the staff Ellen Schwartzberg encourages an exhausted Rayman Schisler to complete exercise members say Because he is the only camper in a wheelchair Schisler is NEW KENT Rayman Schisler JO sits in his wheelchair and looks at what he has been asked to do "I he says He is confronting a "fidget a contraption made of wooden rungs strung between two lengths of rope The 20-foot ladder hangs between two trees with one end about three feet higher than the other Each end narrows from the middle Schisler and three other handicapped men have been asked to pull push or drag themselves from one end of the ladder to the other It is a difficult feat for an able-bodied person but especially hard for Schisler who has been partially paralysed since a 1977 auto accident He thinks about the other challenges be has overcome in the previous three days After being left in the wilderness with seven strangers he has gotten over his loneliness He has learned to push his wheelchair over the roots branches and boles that lurt on the forest floor He has slspt in a tent canoed and survived a driving rainstorm and a mosquito-infested campsite "I cant get across he says Because of the brain damage he suffered in the accident each word is a tortured effort But four new friends wont take for an answer They are young instructors hired by the Virginia Easter Seal Society which established an unusual IMay wilderness camp for the disabled in 1981 Program director Beth McCabe offers encouragement to all the campers "Who wants to do it she asks hand shoots up "First is the he says slowly Miss McCabe smiles He has shown a willingness to try the most important quality the instructors are trying to instill The camping program known as Adventure resulted from brainstorming sessions between Miss McCabe and Eld Hamilton the Virginia Easter Seal Society's director of recreation and camping It is one of only a handful of such programs in the country Mentally and physically handicapped people 14 years did and older are eligible for Adventure Because of the nature of the experience the campers must be able to take care of their personal needs and be able to move independently on foot or in a wheelchair This year a three-day session has been added to the two 10-day sessions The program is different Hamilton said in that it is open to both able-bodied and handicapped campers In the first two years however only two able-bodied people have signed up Hamilton said he hopes the camp will attract more people "Our research has found that integrating ablebodied and disabled people in the same activities can help change attitudes both of the disabled and the he said The society operates a more conventional program known as Camp Easter Seal near Roanoke Since 1957 physically and mentally handicapped Virginians have lived in the cabins and explored such activities as swimming canoeing and horseback riding Hamilton wheelchair-bound himself since an accident 10 years ago believed that certain campers had exhausted all the challenges Camp Easter Seal had to offer Miss McCabe who had years of experience running wilderness programs for Juvenile delinquents was ready for something new Miss McCabe a 33-year-old New York native with curly brown hair said she and others have found that wilderness programs help problem youths develop self-confidence trust both an inspiration and a burden His achievements spur on the others but the others must help carry him or push his wheelchair whenever the terrain is rough Though he has the most severe physical handicap of the group Schisler has a positive attitude you keep him Miss McCabe says His upper body is chubby but he has strong arms from pushing his wheelchair It is only a matter of seconds before Schisler using only his arms pulls himself a third of the way up the ladder With each pull be grunts heavily His legs particularly his weaker left teg foil between the rungs as be slides forward like an inch worm Breathing heavily and wheezing Schisler stops and slumps forward His face red from exertion he appears disappointed that he has stopped not a race says staffer Brad Willcockson urging him to rest Schisler grits his teeth and reaches for the next rung Two rungs from the end he collapses again wheezing louder than ever "How do you feel Willcockson asks Schisler grunts He grabs the next-to-last rung and with a mighty effort pulls his body forward With his right arm he reaches up and touches the final rung Everybody else whoops and Schisler rests his bead and shoulders on the ladder He rests a minute and then rolls off the ladder and into the arms of the other campers The instructors give him a warm hug a ritual they say is the best form of praise Just as Schisler had to overcome his physical disability to climb the fidget ladder the other campers entered the program with personal demons to conquer giving them a lot of things that they've never done before a lot of fear Miss McCabe said real hard to get people out here because I think a lot of times Campers and staff imitate actions of one participant in a game called instant replay Continued on Pope 2 CoL 1 Not knowing is so hard so very hard stained clothing under the mattress The lack of a medical report on Katie's blood type police Mid has made it impossible for the forensic laboratory to determine whether the garment belonged to the girL Davis Mid a search of the automobile turned up five short pieces of rope Although the case remains classified by police as a missing person search warrants filed in court term the incident an abduction Police investigators now shake their heads when asked if they believe the girl is still alive Still hope But parents still hope "I drive around looking for her I don't know what else to Mid Alan Worsky 31 "If Katie is still alive she is using all she knows and all her strength to stay he Mid got lots of common sense and courageous She's not a quitter so I The response to diMppearance has been a mixture of offers of assistance and feelings of anxiety Yesterday 45 volunteers with canoes and kayaks unsuccessfully searched nearly 20 miles of four county rivers gotten lots of tetters from people we even Hid Mrs Worsky 34 "One call the other By Ruth 8 Intress TimeB-Dispatch State Staff CHARLOTTESVILLE Everytime the phone rings Robin Worsky cringes In a daze of fear and exhaustion she makes her way to the kitchen To do so however she must pass the living room and the organ so enjoyed by her daughter Seeing it reminds her of the girl 12-year-old Katie who mysteriously disappeared nearly three weeks ago Playing it brings her youngest girl a little closer to home "Every emotion ever felt I feel now Yet Tm she said "Not knowing is so hard so very Katherine Sybil Worsky a blonde seventh-grader disappeared July 11 Shfi was last seen shortly after midnight by the girlfriend with whom she was spending the night Tammy Thomas 11 awoke about 530 am that Monday from a nightmare She reached for her friend of the past four years and found Katie gone After searching the house and heavily wooded yard she telephoned her mother at work Scantily clad Soon after the city police department was notified that Katie a diabetic was missing The only clothing she had on police were told was a pink T-shirt and a pair of panties Her shoes were next to the bed Police and sheriff's deputies Immediately launched an intense search for Katie who was in need that morning of a daily insulin injection Through the following three days the round-the-clock search involved hundreds of police officers and volunteers mountain climbing rescue teams and specially trained tracking dogs Thousands of acres of Charlottesville and Albemarle County land were combed for a sign of the girL None was found A psychic was called to assist police She predicted Katie would be found near a flat-roofed stone building located close to water Since then police have received hundreds of calls and checked without success dozens of locations fitting that description A majority of the cityt officers and numerous county sheriff's deputies have worked constantly on the case "IH follow this case until I retire city police Sgt William Davis said The investigation during the past two weeks has focused on an Albemarle County man the only suspect in the case and apparently the last adult to see Katie Cards beer Police said the man who wu visiting the house where Katie was staying had been watching television and playing cards with the two girls early Monday morning He gave several beers to each of the youngsters police said before the girls retired to bed On two recent searches of the suspect's apartment police found in the bedroom blood-stained girl's clothing hidden In a pair of socks and some wet blood 'a T-D Photo Katherine Worsky 12 mysteriously disappeared nearly three weeks ago Police believe she is alive but her family keeps up the search Continued on Page 7 Coi I 1 i mtm.

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