Services for Students with Disabilities

Forrest Stump logo and runner moving across a field

Why Forrest Stump?

At age 10, Nicole was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer). After numerous chemotherapy treatments at the Mayo Clinic, the life-saving decision was made to have her left leg amputated below the knee. Despite having what some may consider to be a disability, she has never let her amputation stop her. Her competitive nature and athleticism has propelled her to compete in numerous triathlons, half marathons, and bike races across the U.S., empowering herself and others to redefine disability.

What you might be surprised to learn is that Nicole has just one prosthetic leg to do it all. The reason? Amputees are only provided one prosthesis by insurance. These devices are expensive – costing $5,000 – $50,000, while only lasting a few years – and are not fully covered by insurance. We’ve all seen images of the slick running blades on Olympians, but how many people realize that those are inaccessible for most amputees? Or that an amputee can literally be locked in his/her leg because it rusted out during a surprise rain on a run? This actually happened to Nicole; prosthetics are not waterproof because insurance has determined this functionality not to be “medically necessary.”

Nicole wants to be a voice for change. And she’s willing to break her only prosthetic leg to do it.

Starting Sep 1, 2017, she will be embarking on a journey – called “Forrest Stump” – to raise awareness about the barriers that limit access to prosthetic technology. She will be swimming, biking, and running 1,500 miles down the entire west coast from Seattle to San Diego. Along the way, she will be telling her story, fundraising, and advocating for legislative changes affecting health care coverage for prosthetic devices.

Find out more at:

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