Monday, February 25, 2013
Amputees, Copeland and Maynard finally meet
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA-- As the wheelchairs move toward one another you see instant smiles and flashes of recognition on the faces of Aimee Copeland and Kyle Maynard. The two have a lot in common and have heard stories of one another, but this is their first time meeting. The smiles are followed by a hug. Two amputees with very different stories of how they arrived to this day. Last year, Aimee Copeland contracted a rare flesh eating bacteria while zip-lining with friends. To save her life, doctors had to amputate both feet, a leg and her hands. Kyle Maynard is a congenital amputee who was born with only portions of his arms and legs. A former wrestler and mixed martial artist, he's also a motivational speaker who just finished climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He spent ten days bear crawling to the summit. Copeland has long wanted to meet Maynard, so when he was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation's Gala organizers invited Copeland to the event. Before the gala began, Copeland and Maynard met in a side room for an interview with 11 Alive News. Reporter Duffie Dixon said her job was easy--with one question the two began an instant conversation about what they most admire about each other and what they'd like to see for others like them in the future. "I see us working together to come up with ways to make things more accessible, Its just a matter of figuring out things no one has thought of before," said Maynard. Copeland said seeing what Maynard has accomplished by hiking Kilimanjaro, she hopes to someday return to the hiking and kayaking she loved before she lost her limbs. "I think nature has a lot to offer in healing people. I want everyone to be able to get out on trails and rivers and experience what I have," said Copeland. Maynard said he was inspired by Copeland's positive outlook saying she has not let her accident define her. She was quick to say the same about him.