Show Date: March 6th, 2018
Download podcast at: Omny.fm
Founder and Executive Director
San Antonio Amputee Foundation
Mona was selected as one of CNN’s Top 10 Heroes for 2017, an honor given to “everyday people doing extraordinary things to change the world.” This distinction has elevated the awareness of her foundation and mission, and has allowed her and the San Antonio Amputee Foundation to help amputees across the globe with support, guidance, and inspiration.
Mona helps people realize their inner strength and uniqueness. This passion was ignited by a traumatic accident, when at the age of 17, she was struck by a drunk driver and her right leg had to be amputated. Mona’s desire to help humanity and support the amputee community has become her platform and mission.
In 1997, Mona started a monthly amputee support group, which has become one of the most active amputee support groups in the nation. Ten years ago, she led successful statewide grassroots legislative efforts to pass the Texas Prosthetic Parity Act that requires insurers to provide fair benefits to amputees in the state.
Mona took her amputee support services to a higher level in 2014 by creating The San Antonio Amputee Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to offer amputees education, advocacy, case management/social services, health/fitness programs, home modifications, car modifications, and prosthetic limbs.
A year later, she led a team of 15 men (9 amputees) up to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 19,341 feet. The project’s purpose was to show other amputees that they, too, can climb the mountains of their own lives. She has run a half-marathon and has successfully completed a team triathlon, cycling for 44 miles.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science (minor in Criminal Justice) from Cal Poly University, a Master’s degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University, and a Master’s in Social Work from Southwest Texas University, Mona has worked as a licensed clinical social worker for more than 20 years. She serves geriatrics, adults and children in the fields of mental health, chemical dependence, and medical healthcare. She has been providing support services to the amputee community for more than two decades.
Mona’s passion is a testimony that with strong heart and determination, disability is only a mindset.