Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of faith, determination, health, and hope. Born into a family of surfers on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany began surfing at a young age, and was competing by the age of eight.
On October 31, 2003, at the age of thirteen, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauais North Shore. The attack left Bethany with a severed left arm. After losing over 60% of her blood, and making it through several surgeries without infection, Bethany was on her way to recovery with an unbelievably positive attitude. Lifeguards and doctors believe her strong water sense and faith in God helped get her through the traumatic ordeal.
From a young age, Bethany's parents instilled their faith in Jesus Christ; and at age 5, she made the decision to have a personal relationship with Him. Bethany’s foundation of faith has been her backbone; her source of truth, hope, and strength.
Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water to continue pursuing her goal to become a professional surfer. In January of 2004, Bethany made her return to surf competition; by 2007 Bethany realized her dream and turned pro.
Since losing her arm, Bethany's story has been told in hundreds of media outlets and she has been recognized with numerous awards, public appearances, and various speaking engagements.
Bethany’s life story was turned into the major motion picture, Soul Surfer,
based off of her autobiography of the same name. Bethany has also written many other books such as Devotions for the Soul Surfer, Rise Above, A Soul Surfer Bible
, and Ask Bethany.
Out of the water, Bethany has grown from a young teenage girl with aspirations of becoming a professional surfer into a twenty-year old professional surfer with aspirations of becoming a beacon of inspiration and hope. Through the platform of professional sport, Bethany has been able to touch a large number of people with her message, charitable efforts, and overall spirit. Bethany just launched her own foundation, Friends of Bethany,
which supports shark attack survivors, traumatic amputees, and serves to inspire.