Nicole Ver Kuilen
Nicole lost her leg to bone cancer at age 10 and wants to be a voice for change: better rights for amputees and access to the technology and care they need to live their best lives. She just completed a 1,500 mile triathlon down the West Coast and summited one of South America’s toughest peaks, 19,347ft Cotopaxi, with ROMP to raise awareness on the inequities amputees face. She is now founding a nonprofit advocacy organization, called “Forrest Stump,” to expand access to prosthetic technology and raise the standard of care for all amputees.
“After 16 years of being an amputee, I’d had enough. I quit my job and took on a 1,500 mile triathlon to show the realities most amputees face. Having a waterproof limb is considered a “convenience item” by insurance, a leg to run is considered “not medically necessary,” and millions of amputees are burdened by the enormous cost of a prosthesis, ranging from $5,000-$100,000. What you see in the media is not the reality for most amputees. We live in an age where we have the technology to eliminate this disability! But the power to grant access is in the hands of our politicians and insurance executives, not our care providers. It’s time to shift the power back to the medical and disability community, so that we can live a life without limitation.”