Adaptive climbing and solo travel as An Amputee
I (@kristaselnau) was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma when I was 9 years old. At first, we tried to save my leg and my doctors attempted limb salvage surgery, replacing the tumor with a donor bone. At that time I was terrified by what was happening to me. Although amputation was an option, I wasn’t ready. Instead, I opted for the limb salvage surgery. That surgery was ultimately unsuccessful and I lost movement and sensation from the knee down, which led to rejection of the donor bone and several infections.
One year of chemotherapy later, I was ready to live my life again. My leg was holding me back and I knew I wanted an active life. At 10 years old I chose to have my left leg amputated at the knee. I received my first prosthetic leg a few short months after and never looked back. I had my life back. Of course it was different, but I could make it work. Nothing was out of reach. The possibilities were endless. Today, I ski, rock climb and solo travel the world. I’m also getting ready to run for the first time in 20 years to compete in marathons and raise awareness for childhood cancer research and limb loss. I am a true believer in the power of the individual. We all have that strength within us waiting to be tapped into to overcome any adversity that may come our way. It may not always be easy. It may take some patience. We may face setbacks along the way. But we can do this! We can all climb to the top of our own personal mountains. Nothing is out of reach.