A Paralympian, a motivational speaker, and a bestselling author and motivational speaker, Joshua Sundquist was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at age nine. His first two memoirs, Just Don’t Fall and We Should Hang Out Sometime, have been best sellers. The latter, which is about his adolescent dating disasters, is even under development to become a movie. I’ll review it tomorrow at Allison’s Book Bag. Save the date: March 30!
After his medical diagnosis, Sundquist was given a fifty-percent chance to live. He spent a year on chemotherapy treatments, before his left leg was amputated. At age thirteen, doctors declared Sundquist cured of Ewing’s sarcoma. Sundquist then began to pursue three loves: ski racing, motivational speaking, and writing.
As an adolescent, Sundquist moved to Colorado to pursue ski-racing full-time. In 2006, he was named to the US Paralympic Ski Team for the Paralympics in Italy. Sundquist is the only person in history to ever have been named to both the US Paralympic Ski Team and the US Amputee Soccer Team. In 2006, he also won the Body-for-Life contest.
At age sixteen, Sundquist gave his first motivational talk. He is now a nationally recognized speaker and continues to present to groups around the United States. He has spoken to groups ranging from Fortune 500 companies to inner city public schools to the White House.
Finally, while still in his teens, Sundquist became a contributing writer for the Daily Guideposts. He has also written for Guideposts Magazine, a monthly publication that features first-person narratives of faith in daily life, and been published in The Washington Post and in Newsweek’s now defunct college magazine, Current.
After the Paralympics, Sundquist retired from professional racing to pursue graduate studies in business and in communications. He continued however to pursue his other talents. As a motivational speaker, he served a two-year tenure as the National Spokesperson for the Combined Federal Campaign, an effort that raises millions for charities. He has also been featured on the back of Doritos bags nationwide for his work on behalf of amputees. In 2007, Sundquist was chosen as one of CNN’s Heroes, in recognition of his work within the amputee community. In particular, CNN profiled Sundquist and his founding of the social networking website for persons with amputations. Unfortunately, LessThanFour.org, closed in 2015 due to spammers.
Around this time, Sundquist also published his first memoir and hosted a YouTube channel, best known for his viral hit “The Amputee Rap”. To his thousands of subscribers, he announced in 2012 that he would publish a second book, the title of which uses one of his one of his signature statements used to end many of his YouTube videos. We Should Hang Out Some Time is also considered the “perfect pick-up line”.
Now living in Washington D.C., Sundquist recently got married. Ashley Nolan and Josh Sundquist met in 2011 at a club in Washington, when Nolan spotted Sundquist dancing with his friends. She is reported by New York Times to have said, “He had this spirit about him, this energy. You know how sometimes you see someone and you want to talk with them….” She was also apparently impressed that his dancing was uninhibited by what she took to be an injury. The story goes that he asked her name, and later that night after he got home, he began scrolling through the hundreds of Ashley Nolans who had Facebook pages to find the Ashley Nolan he had met. After finding 25 he thought might be the one, he sent them all friend requests. When Nolan received his invitation to become friends, and saw that Sundquist had recently become friends with five other Ashley Nolans, she realized he must be looking for her.
The now-married couple made news at Today when Sundquist dressed up as a sign for IHOP. Sundquist uploaded a video of himself hopping around in his costume, wherein his leg served as the sign pole. Nolan was in on the joke and dressed up as a stack of pancakes. In addition, Sundquist has a third book ready to be published in 2017.
My rating? Bag it: Carry it with you. Make it a top priority to read.
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