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Amputation Doesn't Keep Woman Off the Slopes

Amputation Doesn't Keep Woman Off the Slopes

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Jed Boal Reporting A Utah woman hit the slopes this winter to learn how to ski all over again, this time on one leg. Her journey has taught her a lot about inspiration and how to share it with others.

Dayna Nichols grew up skiing, but it's a tougher sport on one leg. She started to relearn skiing in December. Nichols enjoyed a day at Snowbird this week with friends from Fit-Well Prosthetic and Orthotic, the company that made the new leg she uses when she's not skiing.

"Life's very precious. I'm glad to be alive. I don't take anything for granted any more," she says.

Nichols lost her left leg due to complications in cancer surgery two years ago. She got depressed as she had to relearn tasks like doing laundry, taking a shower and climbing stairs. She certainly never thought she'd ski again.

She says, "Life's different. It's not the same. So you get to figure out ways to live your life again."

Chris Hunsaker of Fit-Well Prosthetic and Orthotic says, "I think it's really encouraging to see, to have Dayna set a good example. She just gets out and has fun."

Skiing on one leg is exhausting, and she tumbles like all of us. Nichols could have easily given up but credits a good teacher and lessons learned on her journey.

"Don't ever think you can't do something until you try it, because that's how I felt. I'm going to graduate to the next bunny hill next week," she says.

Getting back on the slopes has given Nichols a different perspective on her disability. It's also given her a lot of motivation to help other amputees and encourage them to do more physical activity.

A support group, Amputees on the Move, meets every month. It's a source of inspiration and motivation for all who are taking new steps.

Fit-Well aspires to create a recreation facility for the disabled who want to train to get out and play more.

Amputees on the Move meets the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Medical Vascular Surgeons Office. It's located at 120 West Woodrow Street (5300 South). You can call them at (801) 694-0448.

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