For anyone who feels beset by personal limitations, let them look no further than Cambridge Who’s Who® member Stephen Wampler for drive and inspiration to accomplish anything imaginable. Steve, who was born with cerebral palsy, has limited use of one arm and does not have use of his legs. In 1992, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in environmental engineering from the University of California, Davis. Moreover, he is a committed husband and a father of two.
But his achievements do not stop there. As with most great people, he has taken on the task of helping others. Steve has devoted his life to bringing positive change to the lives of physically disabled kids.
In 2002, he founded the Stephen J. Wampler Foundation to provide outreach and resources to disabled youth. As CEO of the organization, he is responsible for the formation of programs and activities that immerse them in the outdoors surrounded by nature and conservation, and wilderness living. One of Steve’s main priorities when he founded the Wampler Foundation was to fund Hawley Lake, which is part of a camp he attended as a child and where he first learned how to overcome his disability.
Presently, the Wampler Foundation — in a collaborative effort with the City of Sacramento — funds outdoor enrichment and recreation programs for kids from five western states. The foundation also endows financing to numerous other state programs. Steve is also active as a public speaker, motivating and illuminating others. He is endorsed by numerous organizations, including Time Inc., Waste Management and Media Networks, Inc. Celebrities such as Will Ferrell, various cast from SNL and Ellen DeGeneres also tout his cause.
In 2010, Steve achieved his goal of becoming the first person with cerebral palsy to climb El Capitan — a towering granite rock formation rising more than 3,000 feet from the ground in Yosemite National Park. Prior to this he underwent months of rigorous training. He started with a reasonable workout regimen (one hour per week) and worked that up to the tune of five hours a day, six days a week. On September 17, 2010, after 20,000 pull-ups over the course of six days, he achieved what most would think is impossible — he triumphed over El Capitan.
Steve’s feat is a validation of personal willpower and a substantial victory for disabled populations. Numerous high-profile organizations have taken note of his extraordinary talents and abilities. In 2011, United Cerebral Palsy™ — a large-scale education, advocacy and support services group — bestowed him with the Life Without Limits Award. ESPN also got wind of his climb, and recently nominated him for an ESPY award in the Best Male Athlete with a Disability category.
The ESPY award is a tremendous accolade shared by only the world’s most revered athletes, and Steve asks fans and supporters to vote for him. To do so, please visit the ESPYs website. Just click on the “Click to Get Started” button, select the “Male Athlete with a Disability” category, choose Steve Wampler and hit the Vote button. The clock is ticking! Place your vote now because the ESPYs take place live on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Check your local listings for viewing information.
Please also take a minute to visit the Stephen J. Wampler Foundation website and make a donation.