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Amy Purdy about Choices and Imagination

Photo credit: Poptech via photopin cc

Amy Purdy talks about the power of imagination. She explains how our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by the choices we make. Imagination allows us to break down borders, to move beyond our circumstances, to create and constantly progress.

Amy Purdy has been through hardships that most of us will never face — or can even fathom. But what makes her story so incredible is not that fact that she lived a “normal” childhood and spent her high school years as a passionate artist and snowboarder, then traumatically lost both her legs at age 19, but how she has persevered, taking implausible challenges and rising above them.
Today, Amy is an athlete; currently the top ranked adaptive female snowboarder in the world. Amy also spends a good amount of time helping others; specifically those with physical challenges get involved with snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding and other action sports through the organization she co-founded Adaptive Action Sports. Challenging herself while making a positive impact on the world is a true testament to Amy’s spirit.

From Wikipedia:

Amy Purdy (born November 8, 1979) is an American actress, snowboarder and spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

At the age of 19, she contracted Neisseria meningitis, a form of bacterial meningitis. Due to the disease, which affected her circulatory system, both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee and her spleen had to be removed. Two years later, she received a kidney transplant from her father. Her friends now refer to her by the nickname Lucky.

Purdy began snowboarding seven months after she received her leg prosthetics. About a year after her legs were amputated, she came in third place in a snowboarding competition at Mammoth Mountain. Subsequently, she received a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a non-profit organization. Through this grant, she was able to compete in several snowboarding competitions in the U.S.

In 2003, Purdy was recruited by the CAF as spokesperson. She moved to San Diego to be closer to the CAF headquarters. In San Diego, she continued her pre-amputee profession as a massage therapist. She also got involved in the modeling and acting industry. In February 2003, she played a model in a Madonna music video. Later in 2003, Purdy started working for Freedom Innovations, a prosthetic feet manufacturer, as Amputee Advocate. She has gone on to co-found her own non-profit organization, Adaptive Action Sports, for individuals with physical disabilities who want to get involved in action sports (snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing) or art and music.

In 2005, Purdy made her film debut in What’s Buggin Seth, a movie by Eli Steele.

In 2012, Purdy and her partner Daniel Gale participated on the 21st season of The Amazing Race. They ended up in 10th place out of 11 teams and were the second team eliminated in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Photo credit: Poptech via photopin cc

One Response to Amy Purdy about Choices and Imagination

  1. Anthony Lucero February 2, 2015 at 1:02 AM

    A coworker’s daughter, age 19, suffered a very traumatic spinal injury( other serious internal injuries). She has been in ICU since the injury about a month ago. I am hoping to ask Amy any advise she could give us to help her and her parents to recover as quickly as possible. Thank you.

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