David Vobora encourages Vanessa Cantu at ATF

David Vobora encourages Vanessa Cantu at ATF

Our top five stories from October:

5. First Female Above The Knee Amputee Surfer Danielle Burt Catches Waves, Dishes Hope

An ocean wave can cause two entirely different reactions. To a new swimmer, the wave can be a problem, but to a surfer, the wave can be pure pleasure.

In our daily lives, we can either splash and panic, or we can stand up and surf. We can resist life’s problems, or we can use them to propel us to where we need to go.

Danielle Burt is a surfer, but she’s not just any surfer. She’s the first female above the knee amputee surfer. After a motorcycle accident took one of Burt’s legs, she learned not only how to ride the wave she has been given, but to inject hope into others’ lives along the way.

4. Young BMX Riders In The Midwest Flock To NoWear For Big Airs, Support

For those who feel like they don’t belong, there is often nowhere to go, unless you live 30 minutes southeast of Lincoln, Nebraska among the cows and corn fields in a small town called Unadilla.

To belong to nowhere is a sad thought, but to belong to Unadilla’s NoWear is something fun, revolutionary, and completely cool.

Karl and Carrie Hinkley not only run their BMX clothing outfit (NoWear Extreme Rider Apparel) out of the area, but they spun the location just as creatively as BMX legend Matt Hoffman spins his handlebars.

3. Ex-NFL Player David Vobora and The Adaptive Training Foundation Help People with Life-Altering Injuries Defy Their Limitations

It happens in an instant. The accident, the injury, the IED explosion—the unthinkable event that changes life as someone knows it forever. After the hospital stays and surgeries, amputations and “we did everything we could do’s,” comes rehab; the place where paraplegics, quadriplegics and amputees are sent to learn to live within their limitations.

For many, that’s where the story ends. People adjust to their new realities and move on to the next chapter, oftentimes leaving the activities they loved and a part of their identities behind.

Former NFL linebacker David Vobora, flanked by a small but mighty staff and team of volunteers, is working to change all of that.

2. Pro Mountain Biker Jen Hanks Pedaled Through Two Rounds of Cancer

One day you’re screaming down a trail, leaving tread marks and sweat in the red dirt. The next, you’re in a recliner chair being pumped full of toxins.

For pro mountain biker Jen Hanks, that was life over two years ago. The 39-year-old athlete and two-time breast cancer survivor from Salt Lake City, Utah had to put her biking career on hold while she underwent surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, but that didn’t mean that her handlebars were gathering dust in the garage.

1. Undeterred by Spinal Cord Injury, Vanessa Cantu Hits Dallas Gyms Harder Than Most

Cantu was your average high school freshman who played softball and maintained good grades until a car accident on Easter Sunday in 1998 changed it all.

Only the lap belt of Cantu’s seatbelt worked on impact, which left the teen with significant injuries. She lost one of her kidneys, her spleen, and ruptured most of her internal organs, including her spinal cord at T12 and L1.