BARRINGTON – Born without shin bones, friends and family agree that 14-year-old Sabik Cohran doesn’t let anything get in the way of his passion – playing sports.
Cohran is sporting new prosthetic athletic feet after Barrington High School students made a video and raised $5,000 from viewers for medical expenses.
Frost Middle School physical education teacher, Joan Czarnecki, approached Barrington’s student-run production program, BHS-TV, in May 2013 after having Cohran as a student for two years.
Cohran is a freshman at Schaumburg High School.
“Sabik is the most athletic kid I’ve ever met,” Czarneck said. “He expressed to me that he loved sports, and I let him try every activity he wanted in my class.”
Cohran’s mother, Simone Dorame, said medical bills increased as her son has become more active.
Cohran has had three different sets of prosthetic legs since being born, which were all covered by insurance, Dorame said, but the family had to go on a payment plan to replace the last one that broke.
BHS-TV students Peter Chung and Ariana Baldassano teamed up with their production instructor, Jeff Doles, to create a two-minute web video called “Help Sabik Get on His Feet,” which has now been viewed by about 600 people on gofundme.com.
The video includes footage of Cohran taking off his former prosthetic legs to run around the school gym, play football, do push-ups and play kickball.
Also featured is in the video is an interview with Hanger Orthopedic Vice President of Prosthetics Kevin Carroll, who recommended that Cohran be given a $20,000 running foot to play sports at his full athletic potential.
Chung said that he met Cohran after the video was made and it was rewarding to do something that resulted in immediate action.
“Sabik is a very nice kid,” Chung said. “We do projects like this all the time, but it was awesome to get in touch with a prosthetist and see personal results, you know, rather than making a donation to an organization and hoping it goes to someone in need.”
Czarneck said that Cohran’s doctors opted to remove his lower legs when he was a baby and he had grown up moving on insurance-provided prosthetic legs that “gave him a horrible walk; swinging back and forth.”
“He would take his prosthetics off for gym class and do great,” Czarneck said. “But one day he went home to practice basketball on the prosthetics and he broke a leg. The insurance said it was not normal wear and tear, so they would not provide money for a new one.”
Chung said he noticed Cohran’s immobility in the older prosthetic feet upon their first greeting and although the video raised enough money for a $5,000 replacement pair, he would still like to hit the $20,000 mark.
“We’ve been working on doing an extended video,” Chung said. “I know the family will need more money to cover medical expenses.”
Cohran, now a wrestler and defensive tackle for the Schaumburg High School football team, said his newer feet do help him dribble a lot better in basketball – a sport he plays in his freetime with friends, and Dorame said it’s very rewarding to watch her son enjoy sports.
Cohran said he would like to wrestle in college, hopefully on a scholarship.
The new feet, which permanently lock into his prosthetic legs, should last throughout high school, Dorame was told, but the mother said it’s frustrating to know Cohran will receive a “very standard replacement pair,” as provided by insurance, when the time comes to retire the now-bouncy athletic feet.
Cohran removes his legs to play football and wrestle, but said a lighter, running apparatus would allow him to join track and field and play basketball at a more competitive level, with more speed.
For information, visit www.gofundme.com/getsabikonhisfeet.