About

Above, Paddy Rossbach running with an above knee and below elbow amputee. 

Above, Paddy Rossbach running with an above knee and below elbow amputee. 

Adolescent Sarcoma Patients Intense Rehabilitation with Exercise (ASPIRE) is a not for profit organization founded by Paddy Rossbach and David Balsley in 1986. ASPIRE's mission is to help children and young people get back into an active lifestyle through sports and recreational activities. Paddy and David met at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York City where they both performed research and programs on the physical and psychological benefits of activity for amputees.

Paddy, a below knee amputee, had her left leg amputated at the age of six years old due to being struck by a military truck in World War II. Years later, Paddy became a nurse and counselor to children with cancer in several hospitals in London and New York City. 

Both Paddy and David personally took part in many marathons, Paddy was the first female amputee to run both the New York City and London marathon. David has completed 17 marathons (26 miles), 4x50 milers, and 13 x 100 milers.

Sarah Reinertsen  began running with ASPIRE. She is now a Ironman triathlete, Paralympian, author, motivational speaker and mentor

Sarah Reinertsen began running with ASPIRE. She is now a Ironman triathlete, Paralympian, author, motivational speaker and mentor

Through her work with ASPIRE, Rossbach got acquainted with the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) and met founder Mary Novotny. Paddy then became involved with the ACA organization, eventually becoming the president and CEO of the ACA. One of Rossbach's most rewarding activities has been working with the Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) to train outreach workers in peer visitation and to assist with healthcare provider training. Working with LSN, she traveled to Jordan four times, El Salvador twice, and once to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

It is our goal to enrich the lives of amputees through improved physical conditioning, social interaction and programs that increase self-esteem and self-confidence. ASPIRE is committed to giving children and adults with limb loss the benefits of a physically active lifestyle through sports and exercise, and educating them to maintain this level of activity and good health throughout their lives. We exhaust all channels for reimbursement of prosthetic devices, but there are times when care would not be covered without help from ASPIRE.

David Balsley training Jamal Pilgrim, the only sprinter from the Caribbean region who participated in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. 

David Balsley training Jamal Pilgrim, the only sprinter from the Caribbean region who participated in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. 

Since 1986 ASPIRE has helped individuals with limb loss to grow physically and emotionally through programs designed to

  • Educate people with limb loss and their families
  • Promote optimum prosthetic and rehabilitation care
  • Encourage those who are interested to participate and/or train in the sport of their choice
  • Foster improved self esteem and body image
  • Provide an opportunity to excel in sports and recreational activities.

Many members of ASPIRE have excelled in their sports and have been selected for the U.S Paralympic Team as well as competing in triathlons, marathons and road races.