Day 12 - Amy Purdy
Amy Purdy has lived an incredible life. She grew up with the love of Nature, health wellness and travel. She was also a passionate snowboarder. At 19, her life took a detour. After experiencing flu-like symptoms, Amy was rushed to the hospital in a state of septic shock. When she entered into the hospital she was given less than a 2% chance of survival, put on life support and placed into a coma.
After multiple blood transfusions, and the removal of her ruptured spleen, doctors diagnosed Amy with Meningococcal Meningitis, a vaccine preventable bacterial infection. Due to the lack of circulation she had suffered, doctors had to amputate her legs below the knee. She later received a donated kidney from her father a week before her 21st birthday.
After going through this life-altering experience, Amy challenged herself to move on with her life and attain goals that even those who have both legs struggle to achieve.She is one of the top ranked adaptive snowboarders in the world,the 2014 Sochi Paralympic bronze medalist and is currently the only double-leg amputee competing in snowboarding at the world-class level.
Amy’s creativity, positive outlook and her never-give-up attitude have opened doors to many other opportunities, including being featured in a Madonna music video, a lead actress role in an award-winning independent film and multiple creative modeling projects including a photo shoot with musician and artist Nikki Sixx where her legs were custom made from steel to look like ice picks.
Amy has evolved into a powerful inspirational and motivational speaker who has been seen by millions of people and invited to share her story to audiences around the world. Amy’s TED x Orange Coast talk, “Living Beyond Limits” is the number one recommended video by TED x OC to incoming TED speakers formulating their own presentations.
Although Amy has numerous accomplishments, she is most proud of co-founding Adaptive Action Sports with her husband Daniel Gale. Created in 2005, AAS is a non-profit organization that helps those with permanent disabilities get involved in action sports. AAS has partnered with ESPN and runs “adaptive” action sport competitions at the summer and winter ESPN X Games. These events were instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding added to the 2014 Paralympic Games.
In the spring of 2014, Amy inspired millions of fans with her stunning performances on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, eventually becoming the show’s runner-up.