According to the Amputee Coalition of America,"there are approximately 1.7 million people living with limb loss. It is estimated that one out of every 200 people in the U.S. has had an amputation." And while rates of cancer and trauma-related amputations are decreasing amputations resulting from diabetes continue to rise.
Unfortunately, many amputees become sedentary, overweight, depressed, and non-productive as a result of their limb loss. Amputee In Action, seeks to be a positive catalyst in the amputee community challenging fellow amputees to Get Up and Get Active!
Bryant Young became an amputee in December of 1984. While on a weekend ski trip with some college friends, Bryant was involved in a sledding accident in which he was run over by a truck. After spending several months in the hospital, he was discharged as an above-the-knee amputee.
While Bryant had youth on his side (he had just turned 18 one month before the accident), he had no idea how transforming this event would be. Having always been an active person, Bryant quickly became a water ski instructor in the Sacramento Delta of California. Bryant stayed active through his 20’s and was married to his wife Jill at 30. Bryant’s active lifestyle vanished during his 30’s as he lost focus on the importance of an active lifestyle. After 10 years of marriage and the joy of a growing family, Bryant came to the realization months before his 40th birthday that his five children were acting out what they witnessed in their father -- namely, self-pity and a lack of focus on benefiting others.
So in the spring before his 40th birthday Bryant began walking with his family to “get back in shape.” Over the 10 years Bryant had gained 50lbs. As he was slowly realizing how out of shape he had become, he began to think of a way he could inspire his children. This resulted in a 300+ mile charity ride across South Carolina to demonstrate to his children that they should think big and set goals that would not only impact themselves but others as well. Bryant’s ride raised almost $10,000 for a school in Kenya to help fund the digging and construction of a drinking well to supply clean water for the students.
Bryant continued to ride his bike and two years later he founded the South Carolina non-profit organization Amputee In Action, Inc.