A Life Without Limits

updated 10/10/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/10/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Cameron Clapp knows about multitasking. At 19, he's a competitive athlete, outdoorsman and a telegenic advocate for the disabled. The fact that he's also a triple amputee doesn't break his stride. "He makes it look so easy," says his mother, Berny Crane. "You forget he's pushing himself to the limit." Four years ago the Pismo Beach, Calif., teen passed out on railroad tracks after partying with pals; when he was hit by a train, he lost his right arm and both legs a few inches above the knee. Because of the severity of his injuries a prosthetist told Clapp that he'd confined to a wheelchair. But after consulting other amputees, his family found Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, who fitted him with computerized prosthetic legs that restore mobility. Expected to struggle just walk, he stunned clinicians by running three months after his fitting—and in '02 became the first triple amputee to compete in track events at the Endeavor Games for Athletes with Physical Disabilities. Since then he's traveled America speaking to disabled vets. He also snagged a bit part in HBO's Carnivàle—and a growing number of fans. "I don't think of myself as a sex symbol," he quips. "But I'm a good-looking guy." Still, fame isn't the point. "I'm constantly setting new goals." he says. "It makes me happy—and it gives others hope."

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