Inspiration by Amy

I love to watch Dancing With The Stars for so many reasons. Every season I look forward to seeing who the new celebrity dancers will be. Of course I love to see the dancers perform and I adore all the costumes and the creativity it takes to make the show exciting each season. But every once in awhile, a dancer or celebrity stands out from the rest of the dancers, and this year there is no question about it, that the stand out celebrity is, Amy Purdy.

Amy is a beauty at 34 years of age and dances quite well. The night I saw her perform she got three 9’s from the panel and one 9 from the guest panelist, Robin Roberts. It isn’t her natural good looks or her dancing ability that makes Amy stand out (although she is certainly making this 18th season quite memorable) it is the fact that she has prosthetic legs.

Amy is an actress, snowboarder, co-founder of adaptive Action Sports and a spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I literally could write on and easily fill at least another page of all the things that Amy does, the many people she tries to help and all the things she accomplishes in her life. But that is not exactly what this blog is about. At age 19, Amy contacted Neisseria Meningitis, a form of bacterial meningitis. The disease affected her circulatory system causing infection and made her go into septic shock. The infection was so severe Amy had to have both of her legs amputated below her knees. As if that was not enough, she also lost both kidneys and her spleen had to be removed. Sepsis is when an infection (and it can be any infection) causes an inflammatory response, leading to organ failure and/or clinical shock. Unfortunately, it is a common cause of death. Amy went into septic shock in less than 24 hours of getting sick. Doctors gave Amy only a 2% chance to survive since her sepsis was so advanced. Two years later, she received a kidney transplant from her father. Her friends now refer to her by the nickname Lucky.

As Amy moved across the DWTS dance floor on March 31, 2014 with such ease and precision with her marvelous partner, Derek Hough, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Everyone was in awe of how beautiful this dance was to watch. This young woman was determined to not let physical handicaps get in her way of living her life to the fullest. Amy had special legs made precisely for dancing on the show and it proved to be a huge success for her. Her dance performance was stunning and elegant.

People like Amy are true inspirations and do make the world a wonderful place. It is exciting to be part of Amy’s adventure on DWTS and watch her grow with each new phase of dance that comes her way. She gives hope and courage to others with physical disabilities and brings faith to the human spirit.

I am deeply moved by Amy. She encourages me to be strong and inspires me to believe I can do anything I put my mind to. So this one’s for you Amy, who would want all of our friends out there to always dance each dance with passion, gratitude and no limitations! That’s what this blog is about.

Thought Of The Week:

Don’t worry about competition. Remain focused on what can and does make your dancing better and you will become the cream that rises to the top. – Marilyn Fordney



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website