Linda Holt is a 47-year-old below the knee amputee. Born and raised in California, Linda joined the United States Army at age 18 and served for nearly twelve years. After her first child was born, Linda gave up her combat boots and jungle fatigues for the "quiet life" of a suburban mom. While a full time student at the University of Maryland in October of 1990, as Linda was dropping off her daughter Gina, at a day care center, disaster struck. As they entered the parking lot of the school on their bicycle, an intoxicated 20-year-old Baltimore man, passed out, drove off the road and crashed into them. Gina and Linda were both wearing bicycle helmets and the worst injured was Linda, who received a crushing blow to her right ankle, along with numerous other injuries.
After living with the pain and limited function of a fused ankle for twelve years, Linda chose to have her lower right leg removed in September 2002. Now, just a little over a year since her amputation, Linda is pain-free and able to undertake the challenge of a cross-country bicycle ride, a prospect unthinkable during the previous twelve years.
She encourages everyone to wear a good helmet when bicycling and is happy to report that Gina is doing great and so is her younger sister, Tara. Both girls have been a tremendous help to Linda during trying times. They are her greatest source of inspiration and motivation.
Her aim in participating in the AAA 2004 ride is two-fold: to achieve the personal satisfaction of completing this physical challenge and to bring hope and encouragement to all who have had devastating injuries. She hopes to not only share her story of pain and struggle, but also her story of overcoming obstacles and being able to thrive... not just survive, after an amputation.
Kip Peavy, 54, is a left leg, below knee amputee. Born in Montgomery Alabama. After graduating high school went on to Auburn University. Kip & Teresa (wife) currently reside in Montgomery Al. Kip is the father of two sons, Cort & Justin and the grandfather of two grandsons, McRae and John Thomas. He has been self employed for 20 years in marketing of after-market products to automobile dealers. Kip lost his leg in an automobile accident after being rear ended by an 18 wheeler. After a month of trying to save his crushed ankle with no success, due to the loss of circulation, amputation was the best answer. Kip has not let this loss slow down his life & activities. He loves to ride his Harley (which was a challenge keeping the leg attached while riding his bike and shifting gears) and loves to go deep sea fishing. His goal is to be able to run again - which is his favorite form of exercise. Kip is looking forward to sharing his experience with others in the hope that it may help someone with their own recovery.
James Thayer is a 41 years old, right leg above-knee amputee lifetime resident of Kansas. He joined the Wichita, KS, Police Department in 1987 at the ripe age of 25, worked in patrol for four years then transferred to the traffic section where he rode a motorcycle for six years until the morning of September 10, 1997 when he was hit broadside by a car on his way to a squad meeting. The resulting injuries caused his leg to become infected to the point of having to decide whether to risk his life further or lose his leg. The amputation occurred on October 9, 1997. Since his accident, he has taken a disability retirement from the department, returned to school at Friends University in Wichita where he received a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice in 2000, and a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2002. He now works as a therapist, focusing on emergency services personnel, trauma, critical incidents, and stress.
Jim was married in June to a wonderful, supportive lady, Renee (he is reluctant to tell her age), but he does have three children, Joshua, 19, who enters the Marines in December, 2003, Jennifer, 16, and Jessica, 15, two stepchildren Jason and Michael, and three step-grandchildren.
His reason for joining this ride is to prove to himself that he can do it, to set an example of overcoming obstacles to his children and others, and to show the blessing that come from adversity in life.