Does a person born without legs have any future? The most obvious answer would be a big no. However, Jen Bricker-Bauer has shown that she not only had a future, but it was as distinguished as can be!
Jen was born without legs and not wanting to raise a child with such a handicap, her parents put her up for adoption. A couple, Sharon and Gerald Bricker from Illinois, USA, were so moved by this child that they not only gave her home but also encouraged and supported her at every step to help her achieve the incredible.
This amazing adoptive family went by a simple rule, “Never say can’t” and inculcated this in Jen as a child. On www.inspiremore.com, she shares, “My parents didn’t treat me differently, so I didn’t grasp the concept that I was different. I knew I didn’t have legs but that wasn’t stopping me from doing things I wanted to do.”
From her childhood days, she displayed a keen interest in sports. She became obsessed with gymnastics while watching the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She idolized the 14-year-old US Olympic team participant, Dominique Moceanu, who won the team gold medal at the Olympics. Getting inspired by her, she competed with able-bodied athletes and became a state champion in power tumbling. What’s came as a most unexpected surprise was that her idol turned out to be her biological sister!
Jen went on to become an accomplished acrobat and aerialist. It’s certainly fascinating to see her do acrobatics without legs, suspended from a silk rope 30 feet up in the air, with such grace and poise that many acrobats with legs aren’t able to match.
Jen penned her autobiography, titled ‘Everything is Possible’, that not only recounts her life’s journey but also provides inspiration to all those who are physically challenged. Says she on her website, “I hope to inspire and motivate others to believe that anything is truly possible.”
Jen has become a celebrity in her own right. Her incredible story has been featured worldwide in several news shows, such as ‘HBO Real Sports’, ‘ABC 20/20’, and ‘Good Morning America’. She has had the opportunity of traveling internationally as part of Britney Spears’ World Tour. She also appeared as the headliner at New York’s Lincoln Center, Shangri La Hotel in Dubai, and the prestigious Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas, USA.
What’s more, she enjoys a fan following of over 100,000 on Instagram alone.