I am Maya
Gender: Female / Amputation: BKA
Foot: Soleus / Shell color: Caucasian
This is my story
From Oita, Japan and born to a mushroom farmer, Maya lost her leg below the knee in 2005 at the age of 21. She was working in a paint shop and her right leg was crushed by a 5 ton steal frame. Finally after spending a year in the hospital, and dissatisfied with her care, Maya was put on her first prosthetic foot.
Always an avid tennis player, Maya discovered she couldn’t play well anymore. She did research on the internet and ran across sprinting legs. With no sponsor and no support, Maya scrapped together enough funds to buy her first sprinting leg. After discovering a passion for running and with extensive research on the internet, she put together her own training schedules, and then competed in the 2007 Paralympics in Beijing. She placed 4th in the 200 meter and 6th in the 100 meter.
Happy with her sprinting prosthesis, but dissatisfied with her everyday leg and training limitations, in 2009 Maya traveled to the USA to see Certified Prosthetist Eric Oertel at a Hanger facility in Waterford, Michigan. He assessed her situation and immediately put her on the College Park Soleus foot. Maya was hooked. Her weight training improved greatly and instead of retiring from running as planned, she now was able to properly build up her residual limb - even going as far as building muscle in her calf.
Maya says the Soleus is awesome and has given her the freedom to do so much more than she ever imagined. She felt stiffness in her older prosthetic foot and loves the smooth rollover the Soleus provided her. The natural movement gave her the correct form to be able to take her athleticism to the next level, with less soreness after intense training. She has now built up her thigh muscle on the amputated side to almost the same level as her sound side and is excited for the future.
Still living in Japan and a motivation speaker at elementary schools, Maya hopes to move to San Diego someday and train in the USA Olympic training arena.