AmpSurf provides a thrilling therapy

YORK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Surfing is a technical sport that requires a lot of strength and courage. So imagine going out into the waves for the first time without the use of your leg -- or without eyesight.

Every summer, New Englanders with disabilities face those fears, and conquer the waves through a program called AmpSurf.

Livermore Falls native Dana Cummings, who lost his leg in a car accident, founded AmpSurf in 2003. Because he was living on the West Coast, the nonprofit was based there for seven years.

In 2011, he brought the program home, and opened an East Coast chapter.

AmpSurf was started as a way to teach amputees how to surf - but today, it helps everyone from the visually impaired, to the mentally disabled, to disabled veterans.

East Coast Director Ian Gray says it can be a thrilling form of therapy for people of all ages and abilities.

"The second you get into the water and feel the weightlessness or that rush of a wave, it's an amazing feeling," said Gray.

Sunday, AmpSurf staff held a clinic at Long Sands Beach in York.

Surfer Posie Mansfield has been attending the clinics for three years, and says it's helped her heal -- both physically, and emotionally.

She lost her leg one month after she lost her husband.

"Being an amputee, you face a lot of challenges, a lot of obstacles physical and emotional," said Mansfield. "I had a big piece missing in my life, and this has helped me fill part of it."


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