A Hero for life, building Hope; one limb at a time Hope Bevilhymer, a West Jordan, Utah amputee and founder of “Limbs of Hope,” which redistributes prosthetic limbs to developing countries, has been named “Americas Greatest Hometown Hero” at the third annual Volvo for life Awards ceremony. For her efforts, she receives a $50,000 contribution to the charity of her choice and a new Volvo every three years for life.
Hopes Mom, Jamie, explains how all this started, “Hope still has a hard time talking about it. She was born with bilateral club feet. Her right foot was turned upside down. Her first surgery was at three months old. This was before the time when they would let parents go in the operating room with a child. All we could do was stand outside and listen to our brand new baby scream. They put a cast on and every Sunday we would have to put a new cast on again. Hope had 29 surgeries before she finally decided to have her leg amputated at age 25.”
Out of bad comes good, out of desperation comes Hope. Hope was laying in bed for two weeks with the feeling of despair till she decided to do something to help others. She saw a documentary on Africa and Laotian landmine amputees that couldn’t afford prosthetic limbs. Hope started the Limbs of Hope Foundation (http://www.limbsofhopefoundation.org/). Her trip last year in September took her to Cambodia to an orphanage to give prosthetics to children who had lost limbs.
Hope’s current project is back here in the United States. Because of product liability laws, Limbs of Hope Foundation cannot distribute used prosthetics to individuals located in the United States.
“We are very lucky to have met so many incredible people “4,272 nominees, to be exact “ who embody the values of conscience, care and character this program was intended to celebrate,” said Anne BÃ©lec, president and chief executive officer for Volvo Cars of North America. “Hopes efforts to turn her experiences into opportunities for others are truly extraordinary. We appreciate the judge’s mighty task of selecting our top winner, and we congratulate all of our nominees.”
Hosted by Jim Belushi, the Volvo for Life Awards was attended by more than 400 media, entertainment, and other executives at Times Square Studios, Ltd. in New York and featured music performances by The Black Crowes, Saraha Hotnights and Tina Dico. Five of the Volvo for Life Awards judges – Hank Aaron, Bill Bradley, Dr. Sally Ride, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Earnestine Russell-Drumgold – recognized Hope Bevilhymer.
England has Heather Mills McCartney and America has Hope Bevilhymer.