I want to Rave about Amy Purdy. “Dancing with the Stars” ended two nights ago and I’m still thinking about Amy Purdy. For those of you who don’t know who she is, Amy is a snowboarder, a traveler, and adventurer … but there is much more to her story.

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In 1999, at the age of 19, Amy contracted Bacterial Meningitis, and was very close to death. Thankfully, she recovered, but unfortunately, both legs had to be amputated below the knee. She asked the doctors when she would be able to snowboard again, and to her surprise (or shall I say shock), they told her they didn’t know if she would even walk again.

Cut to 2014 – Amy won the bronze medal in the Paralympic snowboarding competition in Sochi, and just placed an amazing second place in the 18th season of “Dancing With the Stars,” losing to Olympic Ice Dancing gold medalist, Meryl Davis. I’m still in awe of Amy’s attitude, commitment, kindness, sense of humor and her unbelievable dancing – with two prosthetic legs! It was truly inspiring and a beautiful thing to watch.

Amy (with Daniel Gale) is also the Founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit that helps people with disabilities to get involved with skateboarding, snowboarding and all action sports.

Amy, thank you for taking us on your wonderful and amazing journey. It was a joy watching you dance. You are beautiful to watch, and I hope you keep on dancing. Also, I think a lot of people shifted their allegiance and were rooting for you over Meryl and Maks. You are truly a winner.

Finally, I’d like to give props to Amy’s choreographer extraordinaire and partner, Derek Hough, who decided to come back this season when he heard about her (amputee.) She could have not had a better partner. Cheers to both of you!

Amy, keep globetrotting, dreaming, and inspiring people!


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Kim is married, has two teenagers and lives in Seattle. She is a freelance writer for Reel Life With Jane, and has written two screenplays and is starting a third. Her ultimate goal is to see one make it to the big screen, and be part of that process. She grew up watching TV and movies with her grandmother, and her favorites are "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" Her favorite TV show is "Bones," and she loves reading, writing, spending time with family and friends, travel, helping with fundraisers, and enjoying good food and wine. Follow Kim on Twitter at @kimberlystrand1.


  1. Thank you, Kim. While I’m glad that Meryl and Maks won, I would have been equally pleased with Amy winning because she truly is amazing. Not just for what she has accomplished, defying the odds and the words of her doctors, and for being an enormous inspiration, but because she’s a really spectacular dancer. It was incredible watching her grow week after week, astounding us every time.

  2. I know that this ended a while ago now but I am still wishing that Amy had won. She is an incredibly inspiring woman and it is amazing what she has been able to accomplish. Glad to see that you agree Kim 🙂


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