The Born To Run Foundation is ending the year 2021 by making two new prosthesis donations, announcing the 15th and 16th recipients who have benefited from the foundation’s mission to provide athletic-related artificial limbs to young amputees who want to lead active lives.
“Three years ago, when I made the first donation of a running blade to 3-year-old Isaak Depelteau, I was inspired by him and all the other young amputees we have worked with, to help them lead active and fulfilling lives,” said Foundation founder Noelle Lambert. “The latest donations to Alex and Kendra underscore the importance of our mission, to help young amputees participate in athletics whether it’s running, swimming, weightlifting, yoga, or any other sport that they choose. The foundation has also been a source of support for our recipients who have gone through traumatic and life-changing experiences, and we know that the community we have created is strong and will forever be there for them.”
The 15th donation, an artificial arm, was given to Alex Manna, 16, of Towaco, NJ. Alex was born without a left hand, and he will use his new artificial arm to lift weights and exercise. In addition, bench presses are a requirement for his gym classes at school, and he is now able to participate.
“Thank you Born to Run for this amazing opportunity you guys have given me. This prosthetic is a true life-changer. I wouldn’t be where I am without it. Thank you again for helping me change my life,” said Alex.
On December 29, 2021, the foundation held an event in Canton, MA to present a running blade to Kendra Cucino D’Allessandro, 32, of Scituate, RI, who lost her leg due to a motorcycle accident in July 2021. She was riding on the back of her husband’s motorcycle when they were hit by a car driven by a distracted driver.
“I am beyond excited and can’t thank you enough for this opportunity and excited to see what the future holds for me,” said Kendra at the event where she received the new running blade from Noelle Lambert and Femita Ayanbeku, foundation board member and paralympic athlete.
The Born to Run Foundation made its first donation in December 2018, two years after founder Noelle Lambert, 24, of Manchester, NH, lost her left leg in a moped accident on Martha’s Vineyard. She is a former Division 1 college athlete who played lacrosse at the UMass Lowell and established the foundation to help amputees obtain specialized athletic prosthetic devices so that they can live fulfilling lives. Noelle is a member of the U.S. Paralympic team and competed in the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo in the 100-meter race in Track and Field and set a new U.S. record. Lambert’s record-setting time of 15.97 seconds beat the previous American record that she held. Lambert competed in the T63 Division (above the knee amputee) and it was her first Paralympic appearance. She came in sixth place in the final competition.