Church raises money for teen's prosthetic leg

Charles Humphries

June 20, 2012 8:22:31 PM PDT
A Johnston County teenager got the gift of a lifetime from his church -- a new leg.

Seventeen-year-old Charles Humphries, of Selma, was diagnosed with bone cancer last winter forcing doctors to amputate his right leg.

It sidelined the athlete until his church, Wilson's Mills Baptist, was able to raise tens of thousands of dollars to buy him a high-performance limb thanks to months of fundraisers.

"I just want to live like a regular person," said Humphries.

Since the winter, Humphries has had trouble getting around. His old prosthetic leg prevented him from running easily, which limited most activities the athlete once enjoyed. Unfortunately, his replacement leg came with a steep price-tag, $70,000.

Fellow church member Keith Branch stepped in. He spearheaded efforts to raise the money to pay for it.

"It's really been a blessing to me to see the impact on Charles and his family that it's had," said Branch, "and also to see how our church and our community have come together."

Last Friday, Charles was finally fitted for the leg after months of fundraising.

"It was great just to know that so many people out there care about getting this leg for me," said Humphries. "They're putting so much money into it. It's a great feeling."

Humphries' mother, Susan, said the new limb does more than just improve her son's physical condition.

"I just know this is going to make a big difference," said Susan. "I know his confidence level and what he's going to be able to do is really going to keep going."

Humphries is still battling cancer, but says he's just taking it one step at a time. He is entering his senior year and hopes to graduate and study engineering in college.

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