I found the following article from the Tuesday Metro Section The Daily Oklahoman very interesting:
The executive director of an Oklahoma City-based organization providing prosthetic limbs to the needy has apologized to donors and supporters for perpetuating a false story about how he lost his own leg.
For years, Craig Gavras, director of the Limbs for Life Foundation, has been known as a former Dallas police officer who lost his leg after being attacked by an angry mob.
In actuality, Gavras was never a police officer, although he was a Dallas police recruit when he injured his right knee while jogging in 1989. The injury caused him to resign from the police academy, and the leg – which had already been operated on several times due to an earlier sports injury – was amputated in 1993.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News last week, Gavras said that he lied about his background and injury at a symposium sometime around 1996 because “an accident in the academy just didn’t sound glamorous.”
His lie appeared in news stories over the years, including some in The Oklahoman, and he didn’t take steps to correct it.
“I was doing some speeches around the country, and the intros got embellished,” he told The Oklahoman on Monday. “I didn’t correct it at the time. It perpetuated and snowballed, and I didn’t know how to stop it.”
Friday night, Gavras posted an apology on the foundations’ Web site, said Ryan McGhee, the foundation’s public relations director. Gavras apologized to about 500 donors and supporters Saturday at the foundation’s ninth annual benefit gala at the Dallas Trade Mart.
“The hardest part was taking that first step in front of them,” Gavras said. “I was extremely scared and extremely embarrassed, but when I was finished, I knew it was the right thing to do.”
The foundation’s board chairman, Denielle Taylor, posted words of support for Gavras on the foundation Web site.
“We fully support…Gavras’ excellent work to support the amputee community over the past 15 years,” Taylor wrote, “We will continue to work to improve the lives of amputees worldwide.”
The foundation has given limbs to more than 10,000 amputees and is part of an effort to help supply artificial limbs and therapy to victims of the earthquake in Haiti.