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Radiate strength

At age 11, I was diagnosed with bone cancer in my left leg. During the process, I looked forward to the moment of the leg amputation. After all, I was afraid the cancer would grow through the rest of my body, so I wanted to get rid of it. After my treatments, I started the bridge class: one leg, wheelchair, bare and on tube feeding. Despite that, I was happy to go back to school.

I wanted to be "ordinary," not stand out. For that reason, I never walked down the street in shorts. I also often overstepped my boundaries in order to keep up with my peers. This caused my insecurity to grow.

In 2017, I was introduced to the Mentelity Foundation during a clinic at SnowWorld. Together with Johan, whom I can now call my husband, I took up the challenge. I already had experience skiing on one leg, but that had ended in a minor way with a broken stump. My attitude was that I was going to ski, but Bibian's idea was that I was going to snowboard.

The clinic did not go as I expected at the beginning; running in the snow already took a lot of energy. Bibian was strict and with me the frustration grew: I am not succeeding, I can't do it and I would like help, I thought. Bibian pulled me out of my comfort zone during this clinic and that was exciting. In the end I ended the day by sliding down a slope with my snowboard. What a victory, so I can do it after all!

Meeting Bibian has been a turning point in my life. The conversations with her have taught me to be proud of who I am.

In addition, she helped me get more out of my prosthesis and dare to walk in shorts. Now I radiate strength instead of uncertainty. The growth I have experienced thanks to Bibian and the Mentelity Foundation is something I wish on everyone.

"Bibian taught me to be proud of who I am. Now I radiate strength instead of insecurity."

Joselien Koopmans-Bekendam
30 years