Bethany Hamilton is known as the Soul Surfer for a reason. She has overcome more obstacles than most athletes; her biggest being the survival of a shark attack at the age of thirteen. She lost one of her arms in the attack, but that has not stopped her from achieving her goal. Throughout the many years after the accident, Bethany worked every day to gain back her confidence to get in the water again. While achieving this goal, she worked on achieving another: motivating others.
In 2004, Bethany released her autobiography, Soul Surfer, which was turned into an inspirational film in 2011. She then created a non-profit organization called Friends of Bethany in order to support shark attack survivors and other amputees. Her goal with this was to motivate others through the power of Jesus Christ and the life stories of other survivors. She believes that if everyone follows God and the path he has for everyone, they will all succeed. Bethany stated, “People can do whatever they want if they just set their heart to it, and just never give up, and just go out there and do it.”
Bethany had crafted many ideas in order to spread the word of her organization. She hosted multiple prayer sessions, retreats, and events that create a comforting platform for victims to share their stories, and she still continues to do so. She also sends “encouragement packages” to recent amputees or shark attack survivors who are recovering in the hospital.
Bethany has made a huge difference in people’s lives. It can be very hard to overcome a traumatic event, and her events and small acts of kindness make a big change. She is the perfect role model for athletes who are recovering from an injury. She spreads the message that anything is possible, and it has motivated athletes to keep going no matter how hard times may get.