Gracie Rosenberger’s life changed forever in 1983 when she was involved in a horrifying car accident. After more than 70 surgeries and millions of dollars in bills, she’s still standing… even without her legs. Now she’s taking a message of hope around the world that, no matter how life knocks you down, you can get up and walk again. She shared part of her inspiring story on Beliefnet from her book, Standing with Hope. I also chatted with her husband via email about the amazing story that came out of their trauma.
As shared in her book, the foundation for Gracie facing the brutal challenges resulting from her car accident started as an infant when she came into this world with severely crossed eyes and a significant learning disability. Through the support of parents and teachers (and help from skilled surgeons), Gracie learned to push through those circumstances. Once her eyes were repaired, she found that, although nearly blind in one, she could exceed the expectation of others and went on to achieve astonishing successes academically.
When she experienced the car wreck, she drew upon those same skills and the same passion to live life to the fullest… regardless of her circumstances. She knew from a young age of God’s love for her, and even while lying in traction for months in the hospital, she experienced great love, care, and life lessons from individuals who helped keep her eyes focused on Christ.
No one person can emerge from such harsh experiences without the help of others. Gracie recognized the help she received and now feels compelled to offer what she can to reach others struggling with difficult realities.
Gracie is extraordinary. What did you learn about your wife through the accident that you didn’t know before?
This woman is a force of nature. Watching her snow ski for the first time as a double-amputee was probably one of proudest moments in my life. I know it was one of hers! To witness such amazing courage, drive and passion… well, it was a remarkable moment. Watching and listening to her singing hymns and praying with the amputees we treat in Africa was another.
Gracie is appropriately named, and I knew when I married her that she had one of the greatest hearts I’d ever encountered. I didn’t realize until much later in our married life just how deep her love and passion to serve flowed.
How did you get the idea for Standing with Hope?
After walking as a double-amputee for the first time, she watched a video of Princess Diana helping amputees in Southeast Asia. Alone in her hospital bed, she offered her broken and maimed body to God to reach others struggling with limb-loss.
How can people help your cause?
We always welcome financial contributions. Also, we need used prosthetic limbs in order to recycle them to use the components. A lot of people don’t know that you can recycle a prosthetic limb, and if a family member passes away, the family will often keep the limb in a closet just gathering dust. We can strip those limbs down and recycle the clamps, pylons, foot, screws, adapters, and even the foot.
Another HUGE help is to go to our website. Sign up for e-letters in order to pass them on to friends or “like” on Facebook.