Finding Purpose…Again – Featuring Marine Veteran Kirstie Ennis

Whether we find role models at home, in our schools, hospitals or on the big screen, they have a lasting effect on us all. SGT Kirstie Ennis inspires everyone in her path, ever since finding her own inspiration to help others who can’t help themselves. This dates back to her enlistment in the Marine Corps at age 17, growing up with not one, but two Marine parents.

During her second deployment to Afghanistan in June 2012, Kirstie sustained polytraumatic injuries from a helicopter crash including traumatic brain injury, facial and spine injuries, and leg trauma that eventually left her with an amputation above the knee.

After being hurt overseas, Kirstie went on to become a Paralympian snowboarder, a proud contestant at Prince Harry’s 2016 Invictus Games, and a member of a Veteran team on a 1000 mile trek across Great Britain with the organization Walking With The Wounded.

She continues to push herself every day while giving back to others through mountaineering and world travel. Since 2016, Kirstie set out to climb the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on every continent), having climbed Four of Seven so far. In May 2019 she was just 650 feet from the top of Mount Everest and had to turn back because her team was running out of oxygen, but without any surprise, she plans to return in 2021.

Upon taking the stage accepting the 2019 Pat Tilman Award for Service at the ESPYs, Kirstie said… “I am one of the lucky ones who came home. Broken, but I am still here and I still can. So I will continue every day for those who can’t....Let this be my message tonight: Rest a moment less, endure a fraction more and try to make peace with whatever your pain may be.”

Thank you Sgt Kirstie Ennis for your inspiration, and HBN wishes you the best as you complete the final three of the Seven Summits...For more information go to The Kirstie Ennis Foundation.

We would like to thank our two rehabilitation guests on this episode, Ms Anne Packard and Mr. Ben Cole, and best of luck with your next chapters at home. Thank you Dr. David Crandell at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for your care and constant advocacy for not only your patients, but your ongoing support of adaptive sports.

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The views expressed by guests to the Home Base Nation podcast are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by guests are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation or any of its officials.