“Adapting is the best descriptor of life as an amputee.”
Accountants aren’t always perceived as the most adventurous personalities. But we know often times, stereotypes can lead us astray.
Erin and her family faced a tough choice when she was only 13. As the cancer spread up her leg, she made the tough and necessary choice to amputate her leg to preserve her shot at life.
“I spent years thinking I was unable to do the things I used to love as a kid. But in recent years, I’ve been challenging that notion. I’ve been tackling tougher hiking trails, which often lead to amazing views! I hope to improve my strength and skills to start rock climbing in my beautiful home state of West Virginia soon.“
“I was afraid to travel by myself, but finally decided, ah screw it,” said Erin. “I’m gonna travel.”
Off she went on her own, traveling to Florida, Arizona and even Dublin, Ireland.
While we spoke on Rodeo Beach just outside of San Francisco, she took off her shoe to feel the water and pebbles under her toes. She said she could still feel the sensation in her other foot that was no longer there. And at one point in the conversation, high tide came in and I tried to grab her but she deliberately fell on her butt to keep her microprocessor knee away from the ocean water. She laughed.
She had a dry knee and I had some wet shoes.
Erin getting ready to climb at Planet Granite in San Francisco.
“Before I actually started traveling, fear was a big concern, and then once I started traveling I realized it was no different than everyday life,” said Erin. “Of course, on the second day of my trip in Ireland, the hydraulics broke in my knee. It was basically free swinging… hardly any support, but it really wasn’t that complicated, I just adapted.”
A dog ran up us, “You scratching your head on me like I’m a tree?” Erin said, laughing to the dog.
“It wasn’t until this year that I went back to the Amputee Coalition National Conference with UNYQ after not going for a decade,” said Erin. “I met so many awesome people and it awakened that adventurous spirit.”