January 1, 2018

Dear family and friends,

I read a quote recently which struck a cord: “There are the stories that you’re born into versus the stories that you choose to live.”

Forrest Stump and our 1,500 mile odyssey down the coast was a story I never imagined I’d be living. Something as a 10 year old amputee sitting in my hospital bed, I never even dreamed would be possible. But you helped me re-write my story.

Because of you, I felt empowered to share my experience, to use my voice to bring to light the injustices amputees face in the prosthetic world. Your encouragement, financial support, and connections allowed me to carry the torch from Seattle to San Diego. Our light touched many people, some who we don’t even know, and helped spark a conversation surrounding insurance coverage limitations and outdated policies. 

In my blog, I’ve added stories recapping our journey and some of the struggles I’ve faced over the years as an amputee. I hope you get a chance to read them and share with others. I will be writing more in the weeks to come.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping me re-write my story in 2017. I am thrilled to see what we will accomplish together in 2018!

Happy New Year,
Nicole Ver Kuilen

p.s. So, what’s next? Our goal remains to take our story to D.C. I’m now in a visioning process for how this journey will unfold. I welcome any thoughts or connections you might have. My inbox is: nicole@forreststump.org. Thank you!