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Members of Team Run Free, who ranged in age from 18 to 60 and hailed from seven states, were lead by team captain Ryan Fann. Fann wanted to encourage other amputees to lead active lifestyles, and so he became a certified prosthetist and founded Amputee Blade Runners (ABR), a Nashville-based nonprofit that provides running blades to in-need amputees to encourage them to be active. Running-specific prostheses aren’t covered by health insurance and can cost between $8,000 and $20,000. Since Fann created ABR in 2011, the organization has outfitted more than 75 amputees across 33 states with running blades. Thirteen of the 14 Team Run Free runners were ABR recipients.
“It’s such a cool moment to sit back and realize what we’ve done collectively as a team,” said Rhodes, who lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, and hopes to qualify for the 2020 Paralympics in swimming. “To have a whole team of amputees, it’s encouraging to the community. It shows that we can do whatever we want. It doesn’t matter what physical differences we have.”