After being seriously injured during military tour in Afghanistan Kirstie wanted to continue serving people via fundraising so she formed The Kirstie Ennis Foundation. She focused on outdoor climbing feats and does more now on one leg than she ever even dreamed of doing on two. The former Marine Sergeant aims to climb high, higher, highest by tackling the Seven Summits on one leg by 2021.
Kirstie Ennis’s story may have begun when she lost her leg after her helicopter went down in Afghanistan, but it certainly doesn’t end there. After more than 40 surgeries and the amputation of her leg, first below and then above the knee after a life-threatening infection, she has accomplished more at 28 years old than most people have achieved in their lifetimes.
Ennis’ story has been well-documented. She allowed cameras into the hospital to film her amputation ordeal for an inspired short film produced by ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine. She was featured on the cover ESPN magazine for the “Body” issue. Photos of Prince Harry embracing Ennis after she completed the 1,000-mile walk across England, Wales and Scotland for the British non-profit ‘Walking for the Wounded’ appeared in ‘People’ magazine and she was later honored by the magazine as their “Annual Body Image Hero” in 2016.
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, summitting 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 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.
She worked as a stuntwoman on “Patriots Day” starring Mark Wahlberg in 2016. She’s a motivational speaker and inspirational to her generation and recent EPSY Awardee.
Ennis joined the Marines when she was only 17 years old and enlisted as an aircraft mechanic, inspired by her parents who were both Marines as he wanted to make them proud and serve her nation.