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Program helps sick kids return to sports - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Program helps sick kids return to sports

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GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -

A special program is helping young cancer survivors, as well as children with other health problems, to get back on their feet so they can play their favorite sports again.

Jackson Amiruddin loves to run and play like most 8-year-olds. "I like to play baseball, football, and basketball," he said.

For years he didn't have the energy or strength to keep up because he was fighting leukemia. But this program is helping Amiruddin and other kids battling cancer and health problems get back to participating in the sports they love. It's called Back in the Game.  "To help these kids recondition themselves, regain their balance, flexibility and strength," said Paul Fick, the program's director.

This is the 10th year of the program. It's helped about 150 kids since it started. Kyle Dorr competed for his school swim team before he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014. He started back in the game a year ago. "Over the course of the year I could do more and more, and now I can go through the whole program without having to rest," he said. "My high school swim team starts up in November."

Reporter Roxana Saberi:  And you're going to do it?

Kyle Dorr: Yes, I am

And the benefits aren't just physical, said Robert Dorr, Kyle's dad. "Its building him up again -- building up his confidence again. It's showing him he's been through this, but he can be normal again," he said.

Jackson Amiruddin has been coming to the program since he was 3 years-old. "I made new friends and I get stronger every time I come," he said.

"They make it so fun. It takes their mind off treatment. It lets them focus on being a kid and being able to be other kids... ...going through the same process," said Shaun Amiruddin, Jackson's dad.

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