The members of the advisory board
Petra Lévay- chairwoman
I am Petra Lévay, chairwoman of the advisory board in the foundation. As a child, my family and I were active members of the organization. My parents and my siblings have also found a home here because the leaders of the foundation at the time also considered it important for siblings to be able to participate in the programs as well. This also helps maintaining family unity. It has always been natural for me that some people have two hands and some have got one and a half or one hand. I owe it to the organization that this has never been an issue for me.
I learned to swim with István Málnai, the organization’s swimming instructor at the time, and since then I have known that his love for sports was sticky for a lifetime. To this day, I am an active athlete, a member of the Hungarian parathriathlon national team, Hungary’s only women’s European champion in paratriathlon.
I grew up in Gyöngyös, then I completed my university studies in Budapest at the Department of Social Policy of the Eötvös Loránd University, I still live here with my partner. Later, disability policy became my area and my first major job was in the Ministry of Human Resources. My task was to monitor international trends and policies and to represent Hungary’s disability field in the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.
In 2017, the foundation needed a new advisory board and I was happy to take the chairmwoman role as it is not possible to express enough what we got from the organization. My goal is to provide at least the same quality of background for children and their families as what we have received.
Zsuzsanna Csesznegi-Fényes – Vice President
I am Zsuzsanna Csesznegi-Fényes, I was born on August 11, 1983 in Budapest with a left forearm deficiency, as the second child of my parents. Shortly after my birth, several fellow families met at the SOTE Orthopedic Clinic during the controls and physiotherapy and on their initiative the Foundation for Limbless Children was established in 1989.
I started swimming with István Málnai within the ranks of the organization, then I became a competitive swimmer and became a multiple Hungarian champion in paraswimming, then I also participated at the 1999 European Swimming Championships as a member of the national team. Still, the most beautiful memories were the summer camps and Balaton swims, which were organized every year by the foundation, where I grew up with my limb-deficient friends and siblings and nowadays we go to these programs with our children.
I completed my education in an integrated way and after finishing my high school studies , I graduated in economics and then I became a teacher. I have been working at Decathlon for 12 years: first in department stores, then in HR positions and currently I work as a Remuneration Expert.
With my husband, Dávid Csesznegi-Fényes – who was also a competitive athlete at a young age (athletics, 400 m cross-country running) – we have 2 wonderful sons: Samuel is 7 years old and Lénárd is 17 months old. Sport continues to play an important role in our lives: we cycle a lot in our free time, we swim, we run, we ski and we also regularly collect seals on the Blue Tour, we raise our children to an active lifestyle.
Since the Foundation’s revival in 2016, I have volunteered to help children and their families to receive the support and community we have had for 30 years and what had meant so much to me. Thanks to all this environment, sports but most of all my family – who made me believe that I can do anything – this developmental disorder has never been a physical or mental barrier for me, so my life is full in all areas.
Imre Hurtik – member of the advisory board
Hi! I’m Imre Hurtik, an old member of the organization. I have fond memories of the heroic age as child and I owe a lot of positive experiences to the Foundation for Limbless Children.
Originally I am from Győr, I came to Budapest in 2002 at the age of 18 to study at a college and I got so involved in learning that I wore the school bench until 2009. Eventually, I became richer with two degrees – one in public administration and the other is in systems administration. In that year, my first son, Levente, was born, who is a fan of math and electric cars and he is already a silver medalist in Judo competitions. Our family expanded again in 2013, when my second son Lóránt, the LEGO builder has arrived so we were forced to leave Budapest and move to Budakalász, where we still live.
My wife Lívia and I got married in 2008 and this year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our acquaintance.
What do I do? It’s always so hard to sum up, I have been leading, selling and advising IT projects for 15 years. My clients range from good big companies to smaller pairs of 10-person companies, all mixed up.
In my free time I run, do yoga and play bass (also used to be in a band).
When Petra Lévay contacted me a few years ago because she wanted to reorganize the advisory board , I immediately said yes. I consider it important to share and provide for the next generation all the good things and experiences that I have had. The next generation and their parents should accept that we are not sick, IN FACT, more special than average.
Dr Róbert Mező – member of the advisory board
Dr. Róbert Mező graduated in 1978 from the Semmelweis University of Medicine. He began his career at the National Institute of Medical Rehabilitation where he took an orthopedic surgeon and rehabilitation exam. His interest and creativity is shown by the fact that he has also visited the Technical University in parallel to improve his knowledge by approaching several sides of the profession. Proof of his humility and dedication, he also took an examination as a skilled technician in the OORI orthopedic workshop. His aim was to bring new developments to the market during the period of regime change and to make the tools that improve the quality of life of people with disabilities available to the Hungarian citizens.
He founded a company to create a revolutionary innovation in the field of body aids and to make it accessible to people with disabilities.
His peers see him as a helpful colleague who has always been generous in helping with any approach whether it comes from a health professional or a worried mother.
With his inventions and innovations, he has enabled many children born with limb deficiency or other impairments to play sports, thus contributing to their subsequent Paralympic participation. With his relentless enthusiasm, he is helping more and more children and their families to this day. There is no child whose trust he cannot gain easily. He is also known among his colleagues as the helper of children. His fame spreads rapidly and there is no child with limb deficiency who would not come to him sooner or later.
During his 40-year career, he has made plenty of movement orthoses, prostheses, or made the necessary surgery for a big number of paralympics and young talents.
He is currently the Deputy Medical Director of the Ferenc Jahn South Pest Hospital and the site manager of the Csepel Rehabilitation Department of the hospital, where he is also the head of a 100-bed movement rehabilitation department.
He has performed more than a thousand major joint replacement surgeries. In his company (dr. At Ortho Health Center,)where he is the professional director,annually there are 30-40,000 patients with musculoskeletal problems.
He has also been teaching at the Semmelweis Medical University, András Pető Institute of Education for decades, performing charitable surgeries at Bethesda Hospital and the list can be continued.
András Mihályi – member of the advisory board
I am András Mihályi, 42 years old, a sport journalist, although I am a sports manager in terms of my education. I graduated in 2008 from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science of Semmelweis University ( TF at the time). As it may have become clear from this, my life is about sports. I work full-time at the only sports daily in Hungary, the National Sports, where I am responsible of parasports as well..
I am also interested in organizing sports so after graduating from college, as a reference to myself that I do not dedicate my degree to the drawer, I took it upon myself to establish the first women’s paravolleyball team in Hungary. That’s how it happened: the team held its first training session in March 2009, and it has been expanding and operating ever since. The members are mostly people with limb deficiencies, typically leg injuries.
This was an important connecting point in my life to be in contact with people who has disabilities, but as a sport journalist I was lucky enough to travel and cover Paralympics as well. Thanks to the sport, I got to know Petra Lévay and Zsuzsanna Csesznegi-Fényes, the two souls and engines of the foundation and they both asked me last summer if I would like to be a member of the advisory board . I said yes because I felt I could help. In organization, creativity, brainstorming. Or anything else that is needed in this this great initiative.
Our foundation aims to help children with limb deficiency: to develop physically and mentally, to become healthy, happy, and confident adults. For the healthy physical development of the affected children, we support them to be strengthened with physiotherapy and swimming and for their spiritual development we organize trips, camps, language courses and various competitions. Our goal is to strengthen the strong bond between children, parents and families. In 2019, we had the opportunity to organize fairy tale and art therapy events from tender resource, which effectively helped children to process their trauma due to their limb deficiency.
Our foundation operates nationwide, the headquarter is in Budapest. We ensure our survival from donations, 1% tax donations and tenders. We welcome financial support.
Many of the foundation’s first-generation children became famous, we have for example a world champion paratriathlon competitor, a Paralympic champion swimmer and a world-famous trumpet player. Over the past 30 years, we have paid special attention on informing parents about related benefits, legal aid and issues that arise in everyday life. We welcome the families, limbless children and their siblings from all over the country on our programs.
We believe that the foundation gives courage and support to the children. They gain more self-confidence among their peers so they can assert themselves more confidently in their micro-community. We want to show to the children that they can live full, healthy and valuable lives without limbs.