The Backstory

After joining the Marine Corps to serve others, Sergeant Ennis was injured when her helicopter crashed on her second deployment to Afghanistan and she was forced into medical retirement. After struggling through over 40 surgeries, including an amputation, she was in search of a way to be of service again.

In the early stages of her recovery, Kirstie relied heavily on outdoor therapy to get her life back. Thanks to her experiences Kirstie does more now on one leg, than she ever dreamed of doing on two.
In 2017, Kirstie committed to her Climbing for a Cause initiative - climbing the highest peak on each of the seven continents while raising funds and awareness for charity. Kirstie has turned the concept of "disabled athlete" on it's head, proving how capable she still is. While she continued to summit the tallest mountains in the world, Kirstie developed the goal to share outdoor recreational therapy with underserved communities and created The Kirstie Ennis Foundation. Kirstie started holding group and individual outdoor experiences and she found a new way to serve.

Kirstie wants to provide opportunity in the outdoors, and ultimately opportunity for the rest of peoples lives. The possibilities in the outdoors are endless.
"I never wanted people to ever feel the way I did- alone, lost in recovery. I wanted to give people hope, community, and a reason to show up. I wanted to teach people the sports that saved my life and actually give them the tools and resources to use them as therapy."

Why We Should All Be Like Kirstie

Kirstie Ennis is someone to be admired, but she is too humble to realize the impact she makes on the world at large.
It started with her willingness to serve our country at the age of 17, her drive to find one of the toughest fields in the United States Marine Corps for women and the dedication she put forth to earn the rank of Sergeant.
Unfortunately, Kirstie suffered severe injuries when her helicopter crashed on her second tour in Afghanistan and she was forced into medical retirement due to the physical injuries she sustained. This was where she faced her defining moment, she could succumb to the injuries or she could fight to find her place in the world again. She has been fighting ever since. 


Kirstie found healing in the outdoors through sports and wanted to share that with others. This prompted her to start a nonprofit organization and bring the healing of outdoor recreation and nature to those in need. She found a way to be of service again, she has created a community, to give people hope, and a reason to show up. She has done that through The Kirstie Ennis Foundation.
Through TKEF Kirstie has held 25 recreational clinics bringing snowboarding to women veterans, rock climbing to amputees, mountain biking to amputees and veterans, adaptive off-roading to a childhood cancer survivor, Sit-Ski lessons to paralyzed combat veterans, and the opportunity for many adaptive athletes to climb the highest peaks in South America. Her nonprofit has a 92% IRS rating meaning .92 cents of every dollar donated goes towards the programming. Kirstie is not in it for the money or fame, she is in it to make a difference and give others the tools and resources to use them as therapy. 


Since 2017, Kirstie has committed to her Climbing for a Cause initiative- climbing the highest peak on each of the seven continents while raising funds and awareness for charity. She has completed six of the seven peaks and inspires with every step as she has often been the first female above-knee amputee to do it. She has had two attempts on Everest, but has had to turn around for her and her team’s safety. She is vulnerable and open in sharing her experiences to show others that we can all face obstacles and struggle, but ultimately it is about our ability to keep taking the next step.


Kirstie travels all over the country giving motivational talks and is endeared by so many because she is honest, open and her willingness to help anyone that crosses her path shines through. She responds to every person that reaches out to her and leads with doing all she can to create opportunity and healing for everyone she meets. She has won several awards for her humanitarian work such as the Yolanda King Higher Ground Award at the King Center, an award for individuals who carry on the legacy and values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


It isn’t just what she does for others, as admirable as that is, it is what she does for herself that sets the example for so many young women. Since joining the Marine Corps, she has earned several degrees and her doctorate in an effort to better herself. She became a firefighter to apply her knowledge and be of service in her community. Kirstie has competed as a Paralympic snowboarder and previously took fifth in the world in women's snowboard cross and just earned two bronze medals in the Para Snowboard FIS World Cup last month. She sets the bar high for women but is humble in wanting to see other women, other amputees, other veterans standing where she has stood, and doing it better.

You can see her impact on truly anyone that her story finds. The people she has supported have made a difference in their own communities just from the light that Kirstie sparked. She has helped a female veteran create a nonprofit to help veterans in Arizona, others to build businesses all across the country. There is a new adaptive community in Nashville that she inspired because she taught a retired amputee Marine who needed a new purpose: adaptive rock climbing. She has become the hero of many young ladies who have faced adversities by writing handwritten notes of encouragement and support.

She sets the example and many are following in her footsteps, but what is most admirable is that she does it all to make the world a better place, to inspire and show others they have what they need to persevere. That is the light we need to see in this world.


For speaking engagement inquiries visit-https://www.teamwass.com/speaker/kirstie-ennis/

Be Like Kirstie

"Keep going after the big mountains."
Kirstie Ennis

"It is the six inches between your ears and what's behind your rib cage that controls what we're capable of. As long as you have your head and heart in the right place you can overcome anything."
Kirstie Ennis

"Instead of looking at what I lost, I decided to focus on what I gained."
Kirstie Ennis

"You have to be uncomfortable to grow."
Kirstie Ennis



Joined Marine Corps; Attached to units HMH 465, HMH 461, and HMH 362 as helicopter door gunner and airframes mechanic


Deployment to Afghanistan HMH 465/461


Deployment to Afghanistan HMH 362; combat meritoriously promoted to Sergeant; injured June 23, 2012

JULY 2013

Earns Masters in Human Behavior


Begins competing in Paralympic boardercross and banked slalom (snowboarding)

MAY 2014

Medically retired from Marine Corps


Walks 1,000 miles throughout England, Scotland, and Wales in honor of 25 Marines who are no longer with us; also to raise awareness for British non-profit, Walking with the Wounded

APRIL 2016

Starts career in Hollywood as a stuntwoman; first feature Patriots Day with Mark Wahlberg

MAY 2016

People Magazine honors Kirstie as Annual Body Image Hero

MARCH 2017

Summits Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft., highest point in Africa) while supporting non-profit, The Waterboys

JUNE 2017

ESPN Body Issue Cover

JULY 2017

Summits Carstenzs (16,030 ft., highest point in Oceania) with non-profit The Heroes Project


Launches outdoor apparel (t-shirt line) HeadCase


Completes Everest Base Camp trek to collect logistics for summit attempt in 2019


Summits Iliniza Norte (16,818 ft, located in Ecuador), Attempts Cotopaxi (19,347 ft, Ecuador)

JUNE 2018

Attempts Denali (20,310 ft, highest point in North America) in support of non-profit Building Homes for Heroes

JULY 2018

Creates The Kirstie Ennis Foundation