Roaring Fork Valley’s Amanda Boxtel named 2018 CNN Hero

Staff Report
Amanda Boxtel at a private reception in March 2017 benefitting the Bridging Bionics Foundation. Boxtel, founder and executive director of the foundation, was recently named a 2018 CNN Hero.
Aspen Times file

Amanda Boxtel has been named a 2018 CNN Hero by CNN Worldwide, the Bridging Bionics Foundation announced Thursday.

Founded in 2007, the CNN Heroes campaign honors “everyday people doing extraordinary things to change the world,” according to CNN’s website.

Boxtel is a longtime Roaring Fork Valley resident who became paralyzed in a ski accident at Snowmass Ski Area 26 years ago.

In October 2015, Boxtel established the Basalt nonprofit Bridging Bionics Foundation that serves to help fund, educate and advance the research and development of exoskeletons and bionic technology.

As executive director, Boxtel helps people who suffer spinal injuries regain mobility via an exoskeleton and vibration training.

The CNN Hero honor recognizes Boxtel’s work in helping people with neurological impairments regain mobility and, in some cases, stand up and walk, by means of advanced technologies, including bionic exoskeleton suits and whole body vibration, according to a statement from the Bridging Bionics Foundation.

“I am humbled to be recognized with this honor and am incredibly appreciative for the awareness that it will create about the mission and efforts of Bridging Bionics Foundation,” Boxtel said in the statement. “Our success so far has been in witnessing improvements with our clients who have various neurological impairments, and maintaining wellness through the gift of mobility.

“Access to advanced technologies like bionic exoskeletons and year-long therapy sessions is financially challenging. For most individuals it is cost-prohibitive and unavailable. Our program removes these barriers using charitable funding.”

CNN published a video, “Bionic woman helps others thrive after paralysis,” as well as a story on its website.

To view the CNN special on Boxtel, visit

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