A decade after being attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing and losing her arm, professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is showing just how much she has conquered the incident, getting married over the weekend in the same area where she had been attacked.
Hamilton tied the knot with Christian youth minister Adam Dirks in Hawaii. Just 10 years before, at the age of 13, Hamilton was attacked while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. She lost her arm and more than 60 percent of her blood, but her website states that "her strong water sense and faith in God helped get her through the traumatic ordeal."
Surfer Bethany Hamilton might have lost her arm in a shark attack at age 13, but she has since followed her dream to go professional and is inspiring others with her drive. She married Christian youth minister Adam Dirks over the weekend. (Photo: BethanyHamilton.com)
Even though it was near the location where her personal tragedy occurred, the now 23-year-old told E! Online Hawaii was the perfect setting for her wedding.
Hamilton is known for writing the book Soul Surfer, which was made into a movie released in 2011. Even with what might be seen as an impairment, Hamilton went pro and even took second place finish in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships.
In this photo distributed by Feature Photo Service for Sony Pictures: Bethany Hamilton arrives at the New York City Premiere of Soul Surfer at the Paley Center for Media, Wednesday, April 6, 2011. (Photo: Edward Ajaj/Feature Photo Service for Sony Pictures)
In addition to surfing, Hamilton has become an inspirational speaker and recently visited the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, many of whom lost limbs.
"It was awesome to be able to give back, especially to people who are going through the same things as me," Hamilton said, according to USA Today earlier this month.
Surfer Bethany Hamilton speaks onstage at "An Evening of Wishes", Make-A-Wish Metro New York's 30th Anniversary Gala at Cipriani, Wall Street on June 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Make-A-Wish Metro New York)
Hamilton's now husband, Dirks, shares his perspective of how they met on her blog. In the post, he writes a sweet message ahead of their nuptials.
"Bethany, I am so excited for our adventure together for the rest of our lives. I promise to respect you, grow closer to Christ together, and to always love you through the hard times and to celebrate with you in all the awesome times," Dirks wrote.
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(H/T: Daily Mail)