Kirstie Ennis was a sergeant in the Marines when she was injured when a helicopter went down in Afghanistan. After more than 40 surgeries and the amputation of her leg, first below and then above the knee after a life threatening infection, the former Marine was forced into medical retirement. Ennis then turned to how she was going to continue serving people. After recognizing non-profits who needed support raising awareness and fundraising, Kirstie decided to take action. The non-profits are ones that Kirstie proudly stands behind. In order to legitimize her efforts in fundraising and to fairly distribute the funds behind climbing, The Kirstie Ennis Foundation was incorporated.
In the early stages of her recovery, Kirstie relied heavily to get back to being who she really was. Thanks to the outdoors Kirstie does more now on one leg than she ever even dreamed of doing on two. Kirstie wants to provide opportunity in the outdoors, and ultimately opportunity for the rest of people’s lives. The possibilities in the outdoors are endless.
Ennis has turned the concept of “disabled athlete” on its head, proving how capable she still is, whether it’s on one leg or two. She competed in boardercross and banked slalom as a Paralympic snowboarder and then ventured into mountaineering, summiting Mt Kilimanjaro (at 19,341-feet it’s the highest point in Africa) to support the non-profit The Waterboys; then successfully climbed Carstenzs, the highest point in Oceania, for The Heroes Project; and then conquered Iliniza Norte, a 16,818-foot peak in Ecuador. She has attempted Cotopaxi, the highest peak in Ecuador, got turned around by weather on Denali, and made it to the South Summit of Everest. She hopes to complete the Seven Summits by climbing the highest peak on every continent by 2021.
Additionally, Ennis is a motivational speaker, an entrepreneur and businesswoman, and recently earned her license as a real estate broker.