Our feet are truly remarkable, they keep us going every step of the way. The average person walks about 100,000 steps in a lifetime. Just a day of walking is said to put the total forces of a couple tons on your feet! Feet are complex, ¼ of all the bones in our body are found in our feet. From walking to running, skipping and jumping, our feet take us amazing places. For some, their feet not only carry them through their day, their feet are their life.
The other day I read an article about a gamer who lost his hands to a meningitis infection, and he now uses his feet to play video games. His name is Gyorgy (George) Levay, he and two other John Hopkins grad students developed a special sandal-controller for Gyorgy and others like him to be able to play ga mes with their feet. They recently won $7,500 grand prize in the 2016 Intel-Cornell Cup for their invention. After reading about his story, I was curious to see how many other things people with similar disabilities can do with just their toes and feet.
Matt Stutzman has truly overcome much in his life. Born without arms, Matt is a Paralympic athlete who has won the U.S a silver in the 2012 games for archery. Using his feet, he lifts and steadies his bow with his bare right foot, draws it with his teeth. Then he uses his other foot to insert the arrow. Usually not missing his mark, Matt really is an inspiration to many around the world.
Lui Wei amazed the judges of Chinas Got Talent back in 2010 when he started playing the piano. Many can play, but what really amazed them was that he was playing with his toes. Lui Wei lost his arms at the age of 10 after touching a high-voltage wire during a game of hide and seek. Learning to play around the age of 18, his first teacher quit on him thinking it’s impossible, but Lui overcame the odds and taught himself. When he took the stage in 2010, the tears flowed. This amazing pianist won the competition on October 10th 2010, proving that you can do anything you set your mind (and feet) to.
Born without arms, Tony Melendez was a victim of the thalidomide epidemic. While his mother was pregnant she took thalidomide which resulted in Tony being born with no arms and a club foot. This never stopped Tony from following his dreams. Tony taught himself how to play the guitar with his toe, he even preformed for Pope John Paul II when he visited Los Angeles in 1987. Tony beat the odds and madea name for himself as a composer, singer, and songwriter.
First Armless Pilot
Jessica Cox made history for becoming the worlds first armless pilot. Jessica was born with a no arms as a result of a rare disorder. She has overcome so many odds, using her feet for everything! Jessica has taught herself to write, type, brush her hair, drive a car, and much more all with her feet. This former dancer and Tae Kwon Do double black belt found a way to learn to fly a plane. With the help of a special plane called Ercoupe that allows her to fly her feet instead of hands, she got her pilots license and became the first armless pilot in history! Her story inspires many to never give up on your dreams.
These are just a few extraordinary people who have made the most of what they have. Feet are complex and sophisticated, capable of many things you would think of. Let’s take time to give a thanks to our feet and all do for you!
Written By: Amanda Croumer