My name is Mandy Horvath and I am the @lifeproofbionicwoman. In 2014 I was involved in an incident where my legs were severed from my body just above the knees- struck by a locomotive in NE. as a result of a suspected date-rape drug. If it had not been for first responders quick thinking, I wouldn't be alive. Through my physical recovery I also struggled with mental and emotional health. Back in 2016 I moved away from my hometown of Kansas City Missouri to Colorado Springs. 2017 brought me blessings as being a recipient of a vehicle from Cars4Heroes- but below the surface I was battling alcoholism. In 2018, desperate for change & to help myself from suicidal thoughts- I started crawling remarkable places.
First, I became internationally recognized for being the first female bi-lateral amputee to ever crawl up the Manitou Incline. The Manitou Incline is 2,744 steps made of rail-road ties that gains over 2,000ft of elevation in under a mile, and is rated as one of the most difficult trails of Colorado. For this- I simply wanted to raise awareness to limb-loss and limb-difference.
I decided to push myself to higher goals and in June of 2018 I became the First Bi-Lateral Amputee to ever summit Pikes Peak, America's Mountain. The Barr Trail that connects to the Manitou Incline is 13.5 miles to the summit of Pikes Peak, gains roughly 7,400ft in elevation and the most difficult trail you will find in the Pike's Peak Region. After a grueling 3-day hike, I summitted my first mountain & became the first amputee to ever do so crawling without the use of prosthesis or any special equipment raising awareness for Operation Ward 57 & The Battle Buddy Foundation.
Whilst still struggling with my mental and emotional health I acquired legal charges in August of 2018, specifically due to my alcoholism. In the midst of my self-destruction and I had incidentally hurt an EMT that was trying to save me. He saved me from myself. It’s been a year on from that now: I put myself through rehab, completed all required court stipulations, serviced over 300 hours of my time to the community, spent the entirety of the summer in El Paso County Justice Center's work release program. In July of 2019 Terry Franz contacted me and asked if I was ready to get back out there and spread hope with Cars4Heroes, I accepted and since have been named the Director of Operations for them here in Colorado.
Whilst in rehab I came into contact with the founders of Clasp-Life and in December of 2019 alongside my one-armed jump master I became the first female Bi-Lateral amputee to successfully and safely static skydive!!
A week after my release from jail, I successfully planned and executed an excursion for my fellow bi-lateral amputee friend Travis, my lead rucker Nicholas Hallisy and my media affairs mentor Gil Bolibol. I was blessed to have fellow mountaineer Robert Greenier join our rucking crew last minute, aside from myself he was the only one who had summitted Pike's Peak before. On Sunday August 18th, the 4th day in our journey- we arrived at the summit around 6:15PM. On the top of America's Mountain, after crawling 13.5 miles from the base of the incline on my rear and hands alone.. my father handed me my 1-year sobriety chip. Something I have worked very hard to maintain.
After summitting, I was able to meet Colorado's first recipient of free transportation from Cars4Heroes. A veteran whom served in the army, works for our USPS and is the sole provider of 2 musically talented little girls. Handing him the keys, watching he and his family drive away with smiles on their faces- is what its all about. I want to help people, to give back and lead by example, to spread a message of hope and most of all I want to show that just a little determination can get you anywhere because ANYTHING is possible. I want to give back to the veterans who have served our country and I want to shake the hand of every first-responder I meet.
On September 28th of 2019 the US National park service of NYC granted me access to ascend the stairwell of Lady Liberty in the early morning hours to raise awareness for Cars4Heroes. It was a truly remarkable experience to just be amongst the history of Liberty and Ellis Island, I think I may be the only amputee to have done so crawling! Many have asked what is next and I am primarily focusing on myself for a while. The big news in that is, I am going to focus on becoming ambulatory with prosthesis. Thanks to #50Legs and POA I'll get the opportunity to run again for the first time in 5 years- Orlando I am coming to you next.
Follow along with this journey on my Instagram @Lifeproobionicwoman