Nicole's Story

Read Nicole's story of being a cancer-survivor and amputee, and her journey on Forrest Stump

Introducing 1500 Miles, the documentary

Nicole faces challenges that any able-bodied athlete would; fatigue, pain, even fear, but she also has unique issues that make it even more incredible for her to attempt this massive endeavor. The story is bigger than just the journey. It’s about Nicole pushing...

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What Martin Luther King Jr. taught me

In January, I had the great honor to speak on a panel called "Advocacy in Action" at the University of Michigan. I was invited back to Ann Arbor as part of a week-long celebration honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The theme was "The Fierce...

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In 2017, you helped me re-write my story

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...

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Am I disabled or too-abled?

In the 16 years I’ve been an amputee, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent advancing prosthetic limb technology. I’ve seen articles published left and right saying: “The Insane and Exciting Future of the Bionic Body,” (Smithsonian) or, “An Amputee Sprinter:...

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The gift of running

My last memory of running on both my legs was in the fall of 2001. I had just moved to Rochester, Minnesota with my family and was the new kid in the 5th grade. At recess, my classmates and I would flock to the soccer fields. The grass, freshly mowed and a little damp...

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A challenged athlete’s utopia

The stars aligned on our arrival into San Diego. It was the Challenged Athletes Foundation's biggest event of the year, the San Diego Triathlon Challenge, and we were invited as special guests to participate in the three-day, jam packed agenda. Hundreds of challenged...

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The sweet smell of victory

Our final day of biking is one I'll remember forever. Although just 72 miles long, this ride felt different. I could finally revel in what we had just accomplished. In a few short months leading up to the trip, we had: quit our jobs, assembled a devoted team of...

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Swimming with the sharks

Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.Out of the entire 1,500 miles we had planned for our journey, these 1.6 miles were the ones I was most anxious to complete. The funny thing is, I LOVE TO...

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Part 11 of 12… The value of tears.

January, 2002 | Jan Harley Al and I drove home in silence.  We were both exhausted and mentally tapped. Upon arriving home, I dropped on the living room couch like a dog finding refuge from his enclosed kennel.  Al made dinner and we ate in silence.  Normally Al and I...

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The last straw. My journey to Forrest Stump.

It's crazy to think I've been an amputee now for 16 years; it's even crazier to realize that I've been battling the entire time to access better prosthetic technology. I first realized the system needed to change when at 10 years old, months after my amputation,...

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What would make 10-year old you proud?

A friend recently passed along this commercial by Indeed (job search app) and I couldn't help but feel an instant connection to our pursuit with Forrest Stump. The first question: What would make 10-year old you proud? It's not hard for me to remember exactly where I...

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Our world needs breakthroughs

Three weeks ago, I received the Victors Valiant Award for my work in fundraising at the University of Michigan. Yesterday, I quit my job. It seems fitting that the words on this award will help propel me into my next venture: "Our world needs breakthroughs. There is...

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