A symbol of courage and tenacity, Bethany Hamilton has tied the knot. Having lost her arm in a brutal tiger shark attack at the tender age of 13, it has only made her a stronger person while gaining a greater appreciation of life.
Despite losing sixty percent of the blood in her body, she managed to survive, becoming a role model and an inspiration to an entire generation of young girls. A book about the incident, titled Soul Surfer was even turned into a motion picture. Of note, she also has an endorsement with ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water.
Ten years after that life changing event, the 23 year-old has tied the knot to Christian youth minister Adam Dirks, two years her senior. Surprisingly, the ceremony took place in Kauai, Hawaii, where Hamilton was attacked. The entire bridal party was barefoot for the nuptials.
While the marriage and ceremony occurred on the island, Hamilton went dress shopping on the mainland. Surrounded by family and friends, she made the journey to Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in New York City for the dress.
Having met in spring of 2012 on the beach (appropriately, both reside in Hawaii), the two were engaged in April of this year. Having told InTouch Magazine that she thought it would be “hard” to meet someone, because she was “different” after losing her arm. Under such strenuous circumstances, her marriage symbolizes inspiration to those who are struggling with a disability while trying to find love in their life.
Her marriage is reminiscent of the Canada Day 2011 nuptials between women’s hockey legend Sami Jo Small and current member of the ice sledge hockey team Billy Bridges. Although Bridges was born with spina fida, the gold medalist from the 2006 Torino Paralympics found his ideal match in Small.
With Hamilton still active in surfing, there are no plans to start a family just yet. While the honeymoon shall take place in a non-tropical location, may she have a future filled with brightness and joy. Although she has lost her left arm, her sense of happiness and joy has only gained with this most recent milestone in her remarkable life.