WHY FORREST STUMP?

Nicole Ver Kuilen lost her leg to bone cancer at age 10 and wants to be a voice for change: better rights for amputees and access to the technology and care they need to live their best lives.

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MEET NICOLE, AKA FORREST

In her 16 years as an amputee, Nicole has worked tirelessly to regain her mobility, but come up against countless odds to access the technology and care she needs to move freely and participate in sports.

First, a waterproof limb was considered a “convenience item” and denied by insurance. Later, a leg built for running was deemed “not medically necessary.”

What you see in the media is not the reality for most amputees.

The only prosthetic afforded to Nicole through insurance is designed only for walking – AND – prosthetics are prohibitively expensive, ranging from $5,000-$100,000, and are replaced every 3-5 years.

1500 MILES DOWN THE WEST COAST

This past year was the last straw for Nicole.

She realized amputees in America today are still struggling to obtain even the most basic prosthetics to live.

So, she decided to help be a voice for change. With the help of her mom, Jan Harley, partner & prosthetist, Natalie Harold, and training buddy, Kathleen Wang, Nicole quit her job and set out on a 1,500 mile triathlon down the west coast to raise awareness, calling their journey “Forrest Stump.”

TAKING HER MESSAGE TO D.C.

Since then, Nicole and Snowday Studio have filmed a documentary called “1500 Miles,” taken her message to D.C. to meet with members of Congress, and spoken more than a dozen times to hundreds of people.

She is now founding Forrest Stump as a 501c3 nonprofit advocacy organization to raise the standard of care for all amputees. 

 

At the end of my 1,500 mile journey, I was granted my very own running blade by the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Microsoft, Össur, and Cornerstone Prosthetics & Orthotics. To finally have access to this technology after 16 years of being an amputee…it’s hard to even put into words what that means to me. Receiving this leg was not my goal for Forrest Stump, but as you can imagine, I was in tears with gratitude. And as grateful as I am, I know that no one should have to go to this length to prove they deserve access to a limb.

Nicole Ver Kuilen

Founder, Forrest Stump

TOM HANKS SENDS A MESSAGE" "RUN, NICOLE! RUN!"

I couldn’t have imagined in my lifetime that I would receive a signed poster by Mr. Hanks, who had served as a role model for me growing up. And to know that he even wrote my name! It was a true honor, and a very special gift.

INTRODUCING 1500 MILES, A DOCUMENTARY FILM

1500 MILES is a documentary short about amputee athlete Nicole Ver Kuilen as she takes on a 1500 mile triathlon – swimming, biking, and running from Seattle to San Diego. Mile after mile, Nicole proves that she has the endurance, athleticism, and will to make it to the finish.
The biggest question is: will her prosthesis survive the journey?

CLIMBING4FORREST

To bring their message to the international scale and show that mobility is a fundamental right to all human beings, founders Nicole and Natalie will attempt to summit Cotopaxi, a 19,347ft active volcano in Ecuador with the Range of Motion Project Elite Team in September 2018. Join us by Climbing4Forrest with your own group! #mobilityforall

WHAT'S NEXT?

Nicole hopes to tour the country with her film, “1500 Miles,” to show the extreme lengths amputees must go to acquire limbs that help them achieve equal opportunities in our society.

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