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.
Amy’s story and images have been featured in numerous national and international publications, and in 2012 she and her longtime boyfriend, Daniel Gale, raced around the world on CBS’s The Amazing Race.
In May of 2013, Amy was named by the International Olympic Committee as one of the top 15 most marketable para-athletes in the world.
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.
Amy has launched a line of clothing partnership with Element Eden The Amy Purdy Collection” and recently completed her first book New York Times Best Seller On My Own Two Feet.
Amy also recently shared her remarkable story alongside Oprah Winfrey, as part of Oprah’s The Life You Want Tour. Where she toured with Oprah sharing the stage through cities across America.
Amy was also featured in a Superbowl Commercial for her partner Toyota which aired just after kickoff. The commercial fettered Amy Running, Dancing, Snowboarding, modeling and speaking all to the voice of the great Mohammad Ali and his ” How Great I am” speech.
- Pushing Off of Obstacles
Living Beyond Limits
We all face challenges and obstacles in pursuit of our personal and business dreams. For most of us, those are day to day frustrations to which we often attribute far more weight than we should. For others, like Amy Purdy, those obstacles can include a life changing illness that nearly took her life and left her with a two prosthetics legs as an everyday reminder of her near-death experience. This not-to-be-missed session, in which this self-proclaimed ‘Fembot’ shares her remarkable story, will take you from tears to cheers and redefine what it means to be inspired. After this Session You'll:
-Be a fan of Amy Purdy.
-See your own obstacles as opportunities from which to push off of to drive yourself new heights.
-Never look at a person with a disability the same way again.
- On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life
Amy Purdy encourages us to take control of our lives, and our limits. The world fell in love with Purdy as the incredible girl with bionic legs who managed to out-dance her competitors all the way to the season 18 finale of Dancing with the Stars. She reveals the powerful, moving story of her personal spiritual awakening as a result of a sudden and often fatal blood infection that caused her to lose both of her legs. Despite her grim prognosis, she was determined to not just beat the odds and walk again but to create a life filled with bold adventures, big dreams, and boundless vitality—and share that spirit with the world. Purdy seized her second chance at life and earned a bronze medal in adaptive snowboarding at the 2014 Paralympic Games. Her story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity we all have to defy expectations and rewrite our own stories.