Heidi Jo Duce is a 23 year old adaptive snowboarder from Colorado who is pursuing her dream of snowboarding in Sochi, Russia. This will be the first time that adaptive snowboarding will be a part of the competition. Heidi is where she is today through hard work, determination, and Shriners Hospitals for Children®. Shriners Hospitals for Children has cared for Heidi since she was 18 months old and also introduced her to the sport of snowboarding through their adaptive sports clinic. They challenged her to accept no limits and pursue her dreams on the slopes.
Every day, Shriners Hospitals for Children sends Love to the Rescue® by encouraging patients to accept “no limits” throughout their healing process. They treat the whole child and believe the healing process extends beyond the four walls of the hospitals. As such, they’ve helped develop adaptive sports camps across the country, which aim to maximize a patient’s mobility, teach strength and endurance and renew a child’s self-confidence.
Most people would let being born without a fibula and most of the bones in their right ankle and foot slow them down. Not Heidi. She was diagnosed with a condition known as fibular hemimelia, which led to surgery to remove her right leg below the knee at 18 months old and a further corrective amputation surgery at 19 years old. Today, Heidi is ranked in the top 3 in the country in the sport of adaptive snowboarding. Heidi was introduced to her sport and got her first taste for athletic completion through a Shriners Hospitals for Children adaptive sports clinic. These educational programs are designed to encourage patients to adopt a “no limits” philosophy and to introduce them to sports they might not otherwise have a chance to participate. Through their care and sports clinics, as well as her strength and motivation, Heidi is on the road to compete to qualify in Sochi, Russia.