Dear Amputee Blade Runners,
ABR has given me a gift that permeates my life on a much greater level than a typical tangible item could. A gift that enhanced me during the qualification process and a gift that gives during the effort to pay it forward. It is a gift that upon reflection of its value inspires me to creatively and enthusiastically discover ways to demonstrate gratitude.
For nearly a decade and a half I have made goals with the acceptance that I would be achieving despite my amputation. Many of those aspirations led to the degradation of my body and the destruction of my equipment. In other words my resolutions exceeded the capabilities of my prosthetics. For example Endeavor games had always been on my radar but the only thoughts I could muster were regarding the struggle of limping through airports and the necessary recovery time following such a quest. After my trip to Nashville, I am now experiencing the reciprocal of that equation. Instead of being limited by my capacity to endure suffering my range has been instantly extended to an unknown distance restricted only by my physical endurance.
A gift that changes how a person dreams, what a person strives for, what a person can be, seems too good to be true. It is true however, and even more precious than it sounds. It took me many years to find this truth and experience this freedom. What humbles me and determines me to do actively participate in ABR’s mission is the circumstances that lead to our union. I was recognized by my community for being determined to help others while asking for none, even in times of anguish. I gave until my body and prosthetic gave up, and when I finally submitted to my circumstances and sought help the answers were bleak. Miraculously I was pulled from this bleakness by a fundraiser and an outpouring of love. Money was raised to buy me a new prosthetic and with it I returned to the world, first with the goal of returning to normalcy then to grow beyond the person I was.
During this process Trey from ABR reached out to me. At first I did not believe that ABR’s claims were true much like a pop-up offering a free gift card. Upon, the realization that it may be true, meeting the qualifications became a positive direction in which to focus my energy. The pursuit of a running blade helped me lose close to 50 pounds, make new motivated friends, and gave me a reason to persevere. So why would a story with such a happy conclusion invoke any emotion other than pure joy?
I am troubled because I can’t dismiss the certainty that others are suffering, others who did not have the tremendous fortune that was bestowed upon me. I had support, and I was blessed with a nature and background that lends itself to persistence, and yet I nearly capitulated and resigned myself to an immobile life. I fear that others are accepting the answers they are getting and are quitting. I include this thought to establish that ABR has effectively educated me on the magnitude of the challenge.
With sincerity I hope that through the written word I have expressed how grateful I am. It is incredible ABR’s ability to accelerate a person’s evolution into a better life. This letter was filled with the words I and me, yet, actually the message is about a multitude of others who this partnership will positively impact. The goals I intend to meet will be accomplished with the purpose of stimulating similar desire in others. The strength I have gained in a newly reignited prime will used to carry those in need.
Thank you ABR team, I miss you already, I devotedly offer my determination to accomplish any request you make of me without reluctance.
An invigorated Ryan Wallace