COSTCO MEMBERS Amy Purdy and Josh
Sundquist overcame their loss of limbs to
become Paralympians, motivational speakers, authors and spokespeople for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN
Hospitals). We’re featuring them to coincide
with Costco’s annual CMN Hospitals fund-raiser in the warehouses throughout May.
At ;;, Amy Purdy (
avid snowboarder, planned to snowboard
across the world while working as a massage
therapist, but her plans changed when
she contracted meningococcal meningitis.
Not expected to survive, she pulled through,
but lost both legs below the knee, kidney
function, her spleen and hearing in her
“Obviously, that threw me on a whole
detour from the path I thought I was going
to be on,” says Purdy, a Colorado resident,
“but the drive to snowboard and travel was
still always there.”
Working with professionals to design
her new legs, she was back on the snow just
seven months after her surgery.
In ;;;;, Purdy and Daniel Gale (then
boyfriend, now husband) founded Adaptive
Action Sports (
adacs.org), a nonprofit in
Colorado dedicated to introducing people
with physical challenges to action sports
such as snowboarding, skateboarding and
“We wanted to be able to share the love
of those sports with other people in the
same situation as me,” Purdy says.
Since ;;;;, the organization has
included elite snowboard training for athletes who want to compete in the Paralympic
Games. In ;;;;, snowboarding officially
became part of the Paralympic Games; that
year, Purdy achieved gold in para snowboard cross during the New Zealand Winter
Games, and she was awarded the bronze
medal in snowboard cross during the ;;;;
Paralympic Games in Sochi.
PHO TO: NATALIE CASS
Amy Purdy (above) and Josh Sundquist
(right) rose past their challenges to become
Paralympians and motivational speakers.
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At ; years old, Josh Sundquist (josh
sundquist.com) loved playing soccer. But
when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in his left leg,
which required an amputation, he lost his
dream of returning to the field.
During his treatment at the University
of Virginia Children’s Hospital, he learned
about a CMN program that introduced child
amputees to snow skiing at Massanutten’s
Adaptive Ski School, in Virginia.
“The first time I went skiing was literally
with my Children’s Miracle Network hospi-
tal,” says Sundquist, a California resident.
“And, of course, that ultimately changed the
direction of my life, because I became a ski
racer and went into the Paralympics.”
And his dream to play soccer was not
lost after all. Amputee soccer, where phys-
ically disabled athletes play soccer on
crutches with one leg, was introduced into
adaptive sports. In the past few years, ampu-
tee soccer gained funding and developed
organizations worldwide. Sundquist was
given the opportunity to play internation-
ally on the U.S. Amputee Soccer Team in
the Amputee World Cup in Mexico in ;;;;.
“It’s a really cool sport to be able to participate in, because it’s what I wanted to do
even before I lost my leg, and something
that I never expected that I would be able
to do,” Sundquist says. “So in that sense, my
story as an athlete has come full circle.” C
COURTESY OF AMY PURDY
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here to watch Amy share her
story. (See page 9 for details.)
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here to watch Josh share his story.