US Paralympic Ski champion Among Patrons Welcomed by International Limb Difference Organization

By AlpineZone News |
Nov 01 2012 - 08:47 AM

Inspirational new patrons welcomed by international limb difference organisation

US Paralympic Skier & speaker, Bonnie St John and Swedish speaker/author, Mikael Anderson confirmed as new EDRIC representatives

LONDON, 1 November 2012

Following a hugely successful members’ meeting, bringing together 16 different limb deficiency organisations, European non-profit organisation, EDRIC is delighted to announce two new patrons.

Keynote speakers, Bonnie St John from the US and Mikael Andersson from Sweden, have joined existing patron, British mouth painter Alison Lapper, in supporting the work of the European limb difference organisation and its recently-launched online arm, DysNet.

EDRIC has undergone a rapid expansion of its member base during 2012 and last month, hosted a two day event in Malmö, Sweden, thought to be the largest-ever meeting of charities and support groups representing people with limb differences from across Europe.

Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John became the first African-American ever to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in ski racing, taking home a silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. The best-selling author of six books, Bonnie travels the world as a highly sought- after keynote speaker. She is also a television and radio personality, a business owner, and the single mother of a teenage daughter. NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America”.

Bonnie St John said: “I was so happy to be asked to become a patron of EDRIC. Its work is vital to bring together people with limb loss who may be feeling isolated or unsure of how to access help or opportunities.

“This is something so close to my heart. I’m excited at the prospect of working to raise awareness and inspire others with disabilities to achieve their goals.”
EDRIC’s second new patron, Swedish speaker and author, Mikael Andersson, was born without arms or legs but was not deterred from achieving his own dreams.

In his role as a motivational speaker, Mikael talks about his own approach to problems and how he overcame his lack of confidence and physical challenges to transform his life. ??Mikael believes it is important to learn from both successes and failures, because it gives confidence to move forward. He says this applies not only to people with disabilities, but to everyone.

Mikael said: “Becoming a patron of EDRIC will give me an opportunity to help more people with limb deficiencies achieve the best they can. Sometimes we are prevented from gaining success by our mental attitudes rather than our physical limitations and I hope that by being an EDRIC patron, I can help show people just what is possible.

“EDRIC has such important goals and I’m looking forward to working with them and their members in the coming years.”

EDRIC’s chairman, Geoff Adams-Spink, said: “Our successes this year have far outstripped my expectations, including so many people with limb deficiencies making the journey to come together at our meeting in Sweden. Now, with the welcome additions of Bonnie and Mikael, we hope to be able to raise the profile of EDRIC and DysNet even further in 2013.

“We have so many plans, including building an experts’ network and taking part in awareness campaigns and we are really looking forward to working with two such inspirational people.”

The organisation will be supporting European Limb Loss day 2012, which is being held within the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December.