Amy Purdy, a double-amputee para-athlete who appeared on the ABC TV show “Dancing With The Stars,” will be the keynote speaker at the 30th annual Central California Women’s Conference Sept. 19 at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center.
At 19, she contracted meningococcal meningitis and was given less than a two percent chance of survival. Doctors had to amputate her legs below the knee. She also received a kidney transplant from her father.
Three months after receiving the transplant, she entered the National Snowboarding Championships where she won medals in three events. In 2013, she was named one of the top 15 most remarkable para-athletes in the world by the International Olympic Committee.
“Amy’s name kept coming up” when organizers researched top speakers, said women’s conference board president Nene Casares.
“Regardless of age or nationality, people just loved and identified with Amy’s sheer grit to live and prevail in her journey against all odds,” Casares said. “Our 3,500 attendees will never be the same after hearing Amy Purdy.”
The conference takes place from 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. “Embrace Your Journey” is the theme of the conference.
The morning speaker will be Dr. Jacqueline Del Rosario, also known as “Dr. Jacquie” who is an expert in marriage and relationship advice.
The presenting sponsor of this year’s conference is Wells Fargo. Founding sponsors are The Fresno Bee and ABC 30.
Community Medical Centers is the keynote speaker sponsor bringing in Purdy.
Major sponsors include Saint Agnes Medical Center, Valley Children’s Healthcare, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, Fresno Acura, Macy’s, Fresno State, AT&T, Cumulus Media, Chick-fil-A, Univision Radio, Pepsi, Fresno Trade Bindery, The Brownie Baker, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Central Valley Toyota Dealers and others.
This year’s event is expected to be an early sellout, organizers said.