At age 10, Nicole made the difficult decision to amputate her left leg to save her life from cancer. She would then spend the next 16 years fighting an outdated healthcare system to get access to the prosthetic technology she needed to be physically active. Running prosthetics are considered “not medically necessary” and denied by insurance. The cost of a running blade, $15,000-$25,000 per limb, made it unattainable for Nicole and her family. In 2017, Nicole had finally endured enough, which inspired her to engage in political activism and advocacy. So, she quit her job and took on a 1,500 mile triathlon – swimming, biking, and running down the Pacific Coast – to advocate and educate others on the barriers individuals like her face to living full, healthy lives. She called her journey Forrest Stump.
Forrest Stump is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocacy organization with the mission to promote equitable access to physical activity for individuals with disabilities.
Tax ID / EIN Number: 83-1177845
One Voice Can ChaLLENGE The Status Quo
On Monday, July 20th, Forrest Stump will be launching a national advocacy campaign called #WeJustFeltLikeRunning for disability rights. Check back here to find out how you can take action to help us make this campaign a success!
Physical activity is out of reach for the disability community.
LACK OF INSURANCE COVERAGEProsthetics and wheelchairs designed for physical activity are considered “not medically necessary” and are denied coverage by insurance. However, this medical equipment is essential to individuals with disabilities leading active and healthy lives. Why is it that insurance companies will sponsor marathons, 10Ks, and 5Ks for the able-bodied community, yet their policies restrict access to running for the disability population?
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50% of adults with disabilities get absolutely no aerobic physical activity.
Forrest Stump knows inactivity is an early death sentence. Physical activity benefits all adults, whether or not they have a disability, by reducing their risk of serious chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. Unfortunately, the disability population faces unnecessary barriers to being active. We can change this.
COST OF MEDICAL EQUIPMENTNo one prosthesis or wheelchair can fully replace what the human body can do. So why do we limit individuals with disabilities to just one option? Activity-specific prosthetics and wheelchairs allow the disability community to be active, but the cost is out of reach when not covered by insurance. A running prosthesis costs $15,000-$25,000 per limb, and sports-specific wheelchairs are $2,000-$6,000. Each is customized to the individual’s unique body.
21 million people live with a physical disability in the United States.
These individuals deserve a fair opportunity to live a long and healthy life. Restricting access to physical activity is not fair. Physical activity improves cognition and brain health, reduces your risk of depression and anxiety, helps you sleep better, and manages your weight. Everyone deserves the opportunity to experience these benefits.
Forrest Stump is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.