With adversity comes opportunity...Hope A. Bevilhymer Amputee, Humanitarian, Motivational Speaker, Musician and Athlete.
Hope Bevilhymer lives up to her name. She provides hope to those who have experienced limb loss, in one way or another. Hope had a partial amputation of her right leg at the young age of 25. That amputation has driven her desire to help others who face the same challenges. She is an advocate for amputees across the world.
Hope Bevilhymer was born on a snowy night in December, 1976. She was born with a condition called bi-lateral clubfeet. The right foot was turned in and upside down. Doctors began stretching her foot as a newborn at only 2 weeks old, followed by weekly castings. Her first surgery was at the age of 3 months. She continued with over 20 surgeries that included stretching, casting, braces, gangrene and learning pain management. At the age of 18, Hope had a leg lengthening procedure, called Ilizarov. This included metal rods that were placed through her bones with a key which she turned daily over a 2 year period. This procedure lengthened her leg 2 ½ inches. The pain in her leg continued, despite all the Doctor's attempts and surgical procedures. In June 2002, Hope had her 30th surgery. She had finally made the difficult decision to have her leg amputated just below the knee.
Amputation sparked a drive in Hope. After watching a documentary on landmine victims, she realized the “need” of people in developing countries. Hope founded The Limbs of Hope Foundation, in October 2003. The organization was started to collect prosthetics in the United States, and ship or deliver them to developing countries. Through her experience of amputation, she realized that people were just discarding the prosthetics, due to product liability laws, while developing countries could use the components.
In October of 2004, Bevilhymer and two companions delivered the first 55 prosthetics in the Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. In October 2006, Hope traveled back to Cambodia where her organization delivered more prosthetics and replaced a basketball court for individuals in Cambodia, who have experienced limb loss. In June 2007, Hope traveled to a Romanian orphanage where she donated prosthetics and brought sporting equipment for the kids. In the following years Hope continued to spread the word about limb loss. To date, The Limbs of Hope Foundation has donated over 6,000 used prosthetics across the globe.
Honors: March of 2005 Hope was the youngest recipient of the Volvo for Life Awards. Hope received 2 Honors for the Volvo for Life Awards. She received the Quality of Life Award and she was named America's Greatest Hometown Hero as the grand winner of the Volvo for Life Awards.
July of 2005 Hope was again the youngest recipient of the “Days of 47” Pioneer of Progress in Education, Health and Humanitarian Award.
Hope is an inspirational speaker with engagements at the Global Youth Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., numerous schools, local health facilities and many business engagements.