Heather Abbott

On April 15, 2013, during Marathon Monday in Boston, shrapnel from the second of two bombs struck Heather Abbott of Newport, RI, which severely injured her left foot.

She was faced with the agonizing decision of whether to try to save her left foot or to allow doctors to amputate her left leg below the knee.

With the help of war veteran amputees -- including BJ Ganem, a Holidays for Heroes alumnus -- and support from hundreds of thousands around the country, Heather made the difficult decision to live her remaining years as an amputee and use a prosthetic leg.

Just four months after the bombing, Heather was once again living independently and had returned to her work as a Human Resources Manager. Within the first year following her amputation, she began participating in the activities she loves, including paddle boarding, running and especially, wearing high heels.

Heather has become certified as a Peer Counselor by the American Amputee Coalition and works with other amputees who struggle to adjust to their new normal.

Hers is an example of hope and determination. In addition, she is founder of the Heather Abbott Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides prosthetic devices to limb loss victims of traumatic circumstances.

Heather remains a model of strength and resilience. Now a motivational speaker, she shares her story with audiences across the country, inspiring all with her contagious optimism and thoughtful reflection on her journey.



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