On April 11th, 2015 I was visiting friends in Shalimar, FL for the weekend. After a night of camping, and a day filled with SCUBA diving, jet skiing, wakeboarding, and swimming, my boyfriend and I decided to conclude the evening with a short paddleboard trip to the Shalimar bridge and back (something I had done many times before).
As expected, a boat or two spotted us on the water with our headlamps and gave us wide berths as they passed. However, one boat, for reasons unknown, did not. It struck me at near full speed and as a result, my right leg was amputated above the knee.
As an active duty Captain and HC-130 Pilot in the US Air Force, I've received the utmost care and treatment by the most amazing specialists and cutting edge technology the military has to offer. Throughout this journey to rehabilitation, I've encountered and overcome obstacles thanks to the care I've received. My new life has come with knowledge about the process of receiving, learning the use of, and maintaining prosthetics. I've also come to realize that there are amputees in third world countries that do not receive a fraction of the care that is offered in the US.
This is why I am partnering with Mango's on the Bayou restaurant, GUSU Paddle Sports, and BOTE to organize a paddleboard fundraiser on August 9th. The proceeds will go towards benefitting third world amputees that need prosthetics, prosthetic maintenance and resizing, and other requirements. I'm determined to turn this life-changing event into a positive and plan to continue helping in whatever way I can with my own foundation, "One Leg Up on Life".
To learn more about the first 6 kids in Haiti and the Dominian Republic we are trying to help or read more about my story, visit oneleguponlife.wordpress.com