Better yet, through his foundation, he he has helped hundreds of wounded vets who have lost their limbs.
In 1986, Rigsby lost one leg and mangled another at age 18 after a nasty car accident. He suffered years of surgeries, pain and depression until the day he decided to turn his life around. Doctors amputated his other leg, which caused constant pain. He then built up strength and endurance, eventually setting world records for a double below-the-knee amputee in the full marathon, half Ironman, and international distance triathlon.
Now Rigsby, a Georgia native, has volunteered to help another victim of a senseless accident: Aimee Copeland. Copeland, a graduate student at the University of West Georgia, fell when her homemade zipline snapped. Plunging into the water below and gashing open her leg, she fell prey to flesh-eating bacteria and as a result, lost her left leg, her right foot and her hands to amputation.
Scott reached out to Copeland’s family and met with them, counseling them about how she had to manage her expectations when it comes to living without key limbs. This way, little milestones can keep Copeland motivated: “It gives you confidence. It gives you momentum. It even gets the people around you fired up at your progress,” he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution earlier this month. “It can be something as little as standing for a minute on your prosthetic leg. That’s a huge victory.”
“She didn’t lose the Aimee that her family loves,” he added.”She didn’t lose the Aimee that her friends love. Her value is not in her limbs.”
Wendy Kalman attended the 2009 TEDxPeachtree event and became hooked, volunteering each year ever since. By day, she works as a Proposal Manager and by night, consults with small businesses on marketing, public relations, writing and editing.