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Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics Strangers a year ago, 12 youngsters, from 6 to 12 years old, have become playmates and pals, sharing a bond most people will never experience — the absence of a limb.

At Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
At Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Ayden Loveren, 6, from Goffstown, hangs out in the Ocean life themed exam room, for a minor adjustment to his prosthetic leg, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Ayden Loveren, 6, from Goffstown, hangs out in the Ocean life themed exam room, for a minor adjustment to his prosthetic leg, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Carter Mead, 7, from Manchester, plays on the ramp with Qamar Mohammedhasan,10, from Manchester, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Carter Mead, 7, from Manchester, during an interview, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Carter Mead, 7, from Manchester, during an interview, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Carter Mead, 7, from Manchester, during an interview, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Carter Mead, 7, from Manchester, during an interview, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Kelli Mead, mother of Carter, talks about their family, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Matthew Albuquerque, president of Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center, talks with Charlie Smith, middle, 10, from Nashua, and Carter Mead, 7, from Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Julia Carlson, 6, from Concord, at Next Step in Manchester on Thursday as Qamar Mohammedhasan,10, from Manchester, looks on at left. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Matthew Albuquerque, president of Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center, shakes hands with Julia Carlson, 6, from Concord, at Next Step in Manchester on Thursday as Qamar Mohammedhasan,10, from Manchester, looks on at left. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Matthew Albuquerque, president of Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center, shakes hands with Julia Carlson, 6, from Concord, at Next Step in Manchester on Thursday as Qamar Mohammedhasan,10, from Manchester, looks on at left. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Julia Carlson, 6, from Concord, and Carter Mead, 7, from Manchester, at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Julia Carlson, 6, from Concord, plays at Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
At Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
At Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
At Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
At Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
At Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
At Next Step Orthotics Amputee Care Center in Manchester on Thursday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)