At 19, after experiencing flu-like symptoms, Amy was rushed to the hospital in a state of septic shock. En route, she experienced respiratory and multiple organ failure which caused her to lose circulation to her extremities. 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. Just three months after her kidney transplant, Amy entered the USASA National Snowboarding Championship where she won medals in three events. She went on to be the first double leg amputee competitive snowboarder and in February 2011 she won two back to back World Cup competitions, making her the top ranked adaptive snowboarder in the world.
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 is a spokesperson for multiple charitable organizations and companies including the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Flora Health and the pharmaceutical company that makes the Meningitis vaccination Senofi Pasteur.
Amy is also an inspirational speaker and an advocate for Element Skateboards and Element Eden where she has her own signature denim and is currently collaborating on a line of clothing based around wellness, movement and style.
Amy’s story and images have been featured in numerous national and international publications including Women’s Health Magazine and an award winning feature in Muscle and Fitness Hers.
Although Amy has many accomplishments, she is most proud of co-founding Adaptive Action Sports. Created in 2005, AAS is a non-profit organization which helps those with permanent disabilities to get involved in action sports. AAS has partnered with ESPN and runs “adaptive” action sport competitions at the summer and winter ESPN X Games and was instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding into the 2014 Paralympic Games. It is there that Amy has set her sights on winning the event’s first-ever gold medal.
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