At the age of nineteen, Amy Purdy, who was an avid snowboarder, developed flu-like symptoms which were later diagnosed as bacterial meningitis, a fatal blood infection.
Amy had less than a 2% chance of living.
Losing both legs, hearing in her left ear, kidney and spleen, Amy was forced to re-evaluate how she was going to embark on new adventures and achieve her dreams.
Essentially, Amy had to decide how she wanted her life to unfold and how she would write the next chapter of her life.
Although leaning into change is never easy, Amy embraced it as an opportunity. She promised herself two things: first, she would take her snowboard back. “I was so passionate about snowboarding, it’s really what got me through my darkest days. That and being grateful to be alive.
And two: something positive would come out of this experience. This has been his unwavering determination ever since.
Amy’s transition to everyday life was hard fought and she learned firsthand about the myriad challenges people with disabilities face every day. What really struck a chord was the complete lack of resources to engage in active sports, which brought him the most happiness.
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Instead of closing this chapter of fun and competition in snowboarding, Amy instead co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization focused on supporting children and adults with disabilities who want to participate in active sports.
“She inspires, not only those athletes who are in a situation similar to the one she went through, but she helps everyone to believe in themselves and to believe everything they think about,” says Morgan Whitehouse of Adaptive Action Sports.
“As much as I help other people through this organization, this organization helps me,” says Amy.
Amy is also a three-time Paralympic medalist snowboarder, motivational speaker and NY Times bestselling author.
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