GET TO KNOW: Angelina Boulicault’s Story
Here’s Angelina little personal snippet of her life as an amputee…
“When people notice my artificial leg they often come right out and ask, ‘What happened to you?’
I often come up with some crazy, exciting story like shark attack while surfing, or fought off a bear on a hike, but the truth is that many amputees have boring stories of unfortunate circumstances.
My cause of amputation was congenital. Which just means, I was born with a birth-defect. I hate this terminology, and would like to speak to whoever came up with it. Defect? Am I some reject toy in the discount aisle at Target? Basically, yes, I was ha ha.
I was born in a small town in Russia with Clubfoot and Fibular Hemimelia. Basically, my shin wasn’t growing, and my foot was extremely internally rotated. My parents were told I’d never walk, and was going to die. They decided to give me up for adoption. I spent several years in an orphanage until my lovely American parents found me. They adopted me and brought me here to the U.S. There were hospitals fighting over who would get to amputate my leg because Clubfoot is often treated immediately after birth. I was almost 5 years old, and still had my foot completely in-tact. We chose Shriner’s Hospital because they would support me beyond the surgery, and fit me with prostheses up until I turned 18! They removed the deformed foot, and walla! I became an amputee in 1996!”
“What I have achieved since ’96, I hear you say, wow that’s a big question! I find even small steps big achievements!
I became a part of a family, moved to a new country, and became an amputee all in the year of ’96! I grew up trying every sport offered to girls my age because my parents wanted me to understand that disabled did not mean immobile. They wanted me to feel like I could do anything I put my mind to. I was a ballerina for 9 years! I played on my high school basketball team, and was captain of the swim team. I have completed 3 Triathlon sprints. I have hiked through rain forest, desert, and mountains! I have learned how to water ski & snow ski. I can drive a car without hand controls. I have given public speeches about life as an amputee, and been able to speak to thousands through my organization Adaptive Amputees!
“Why I started the website Adaptive Amputees? … Middle school is not easy for a kid with a limp. I was also about half the size of my classmates. This made me an easy target for bullying. I played all sorts of sports, and was very active. However, I noticed that none of the other kids at school had a fake leg like me. They were all much faster than me on the field, and way more graceful in ballet class. I would often get frustrated that none of my friends were like me. In high school, I was in a leadership program that required a big project that would make a difference. It was pretty open-ended, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do. A lot of the students were pairing up to go on volunteer projects and whatnot. I decided to start an organization to promote amputee awareness. After experiencing years of bullying for being different, and I wanted to be the voice for amputees in my community. I was able to talk to lots of students around St. Louis and share my story. I had a little girl come up to me at the end of one of my talks, and tell me that she finally felt proud to be adopted. She had never met anyone else that was adopted and felt very alone. I hope that changing just one child’s perspective can start to change many. ”
Thanks so much to Angelina for sharing her story with us …
Big love xx
Here are all of her social media links go check out her website and follow her !!
Visit Adaptive Amputee’s Website: www.adaptiveamputees.com
Find Adaptive Amputees on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AdaptiveAmputees
Follow Adaptive Amputees on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AdaptiveAmputee
Follow Adaptive Amputees on Instagram: www.instagram.com/adaptiveamputees