Since sustaining a permanent spinal-cord injury fifteen years ago, Amanda Boxtel has evolved into a passionate and dynamic inspirational speaker, captivating her audiences with her stories, weaving in the valuable lessons she has learned along the way and warming the listeners’ hearts with laughter and compassion. She presents original messages in a polished style and has spoken alongside such high-profile figures as President Jimmy Carter, Michael York, Florence Griffith Joyner, Amy Grant, and Vince Gill. Amanda also has been interviewed by master motivator Les Brown.
For the last decade, Amanda has been involved in community and outreach projects that aim to improve the lives of individuals living with disabilities. In 1995, she co-founded Challenge Aspen, now a successful million-dollar nonprofit organization, which enables individuals with disabilities to participate in recreational activities in Aspen, Colorado.
For ten years, she was a professional ski instructor at Aspen Skiing Company, and from 2001 till 2005, she helped establish adaptive skiing programs in Chile, Argentina, and Iceland. Amanda was honored as the Colorado Ski Country USA Adaptive Athlete of the Year in 1999, the same year she orchestrated the first disability whitewater-rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. In 2002, Amanda carried the Olympic Torch on her mono-ski, and later that year she assisted with research in Antarctica on tourism for individuals with disabilities. In 2005, she spearheaded bringing two hundred wheelchairs to the poorest of the poor in Argentina.
Amanda was the recipient of the 2007 Colorado Rockies Leadership Award presented on Coors Field, Denver, Colorado. Most recently Aspen Sojourner Magazine awarded Amanda as one of three 2008 Sojourner Salutes Honorees for her contributions to the Aspen community.
During the summer months of 2007 Amanda was the first US Citizen to receive Human Embryonic Stem Cell therapy in India. After seventeen years of paralysis, her body is awakening, her legs are coming alive, and hope is now restored into her vocabulary. It is Amanda’s dream to advocate and share her message with the world that she is living proof that Human Embryonic Stem Cell therapy works and can enrich a person’s quality of life for those who are deemed incurable or terminally ill.
Australian born, Amanda is authoring Pivotal Awakenings – A Memoir. In her spare time she enjoys writing, painting and drawing. She lives near Aspen in Basalt, Colorado with her golden retriever, Tucker.
Watch Amanda Boxtel on YouTube.