Single-leg Amputee Marathon Finisher (6:07)
Single-leg Amputee Cotopaxi Volcano Summit (19,347 ft)
TED Ecuador Keynote Speaker
R.O.M.P. Global Elite Climbing Team
Empowerment Through Movement
Kathy was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador and has a unique athletic story. In her 40s, she was diagnosed with a rare soft-tissue cancer which resulted in the loss of her left leg below the knee. The night before her surgery, she dreamt of running a marathon -- an act she’d never attempted -- and upon waking, began to chase her dream of empowerment through movement.
Despite not having run in more than 20 years, Kathy connected with David Krupa of the Range of Motion Project, a non-profit based in Quito and tasked with improving the lives of amputees by providing and fitting prostheses. Kathy ran her first 5K on a standard walking prosthesis before receiving her first “running leg”.
From that point on, there was no stopping her. She ran her first marathon in Chicago (USA) in 2018, finishing in 6:07. But that wasn’t enough; she also took up high-mountain climbing (“andinismo”, as it’s called in South America), and has summited countless mountains over 15,000 ft, including Ecuador’s Cotopaxi and Cayambe volcanos, each over 19,000 ft .