Paralympian spreads awareness for Limb Loss Awareness Month in Rochester

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(ABC 6 News) – During the month of April for Limb Loss Awareness Month, Limb Lab in Rochester aims to raise $10,000 to provide prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces for people in need all across the country.

To help spread awareness, Limb Lab welcomed Mike Schultz to Rochester on Thursday. Schultz is an amputee who is a Paralympic gold and silver medalist.

"You know, we are real people. We’re missing some bits," Schultz said. "We have a few more difficulties through our journey with trying to find the right adaptive equipment that allows us to live life."

For some people, prosthetics help with everyday tasks. But for the St. Cloud native, prosthetics helped him win a couple of Olympic medals.

In 2008, Schultz was competing in a snowcross race when he flew off of his snowmobile and landed on his left leg leading to an above-the-knee amputation.

"Hearing those words ‘You’re going to become an amputee,’ was extremely hard to take," he said.

But only seven months after his amputation, Schultz was back out doing what he loved also while being a ten-time X Games medalist. But Schultz said the prosthetic equipment he was using wasn’t cutting it for his competitive lifestyle and the rigorous sport.

Schultz engineered a mechanical knee, later creating his own company called BioDapt for other athletes who need better prosthetics and adaptive equipment.

Schultz took to the world stage in 2018 competing in the Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea. He won gold and silver for Team USA as well as being the flag bearer for the opening ceremonies. He medaled in events that he didn’t even know how to do prior to becoming an amputee: Snowboarding.

"I accomplished something that ten years prior was not on my radar," he said.

He also recently returned from the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Games with a silver medal around his neck, also in snowboarding.

Schultz said once all people can look at amputees as people with disabilities who see nothing there other than a normal person, then we have success.

"I mean then we have succeeded in the awareness," he said.

Schultz is also a new author of his new book ‘Driven to Ride.’