FAMILY & PARENTING

Teen Born With Congenital Limb Difference Finds Happiness Surfing: ‘It Is My Calling’

by Angela Andaloro

A California teen who was born with a congenital limb difference has found her passion.

Liv Stone is a 17-year-old who rides some serious waves.

Born with a congenital birth defect, Liv’s arms end just above her elbows. She has just two fingers on each hand.

“I almost get questions every time I’m out there,” she told Fox 5.

“I’ll go out and there’s old geezers out there trying to keep up with me and be like, ‘I’ve been surfing for 60 years and you’re out here rippin.’

“They ask me questions, I explain my situation and then they let me catch some waves.”

Liv didn’t have much interest in sports just a few years ago.

That all changed when she met Bethany Hamilton at a faith-based retreat. The professional surfer knows a thing or two about feeling different. She lost her left arm in a 2003 shark attack.

“It was my first time surfing ever, and I got to surf with (Hamilton) and it was just incredible,” Liv recalled.

“It came so naturally. And then I went home to Pennsylvania and I traveled back and forth to California doing different adaptive surfing events, but still based in Penn. And I loved every second of surfing.”

In 2019, Liv packed up and moved west to California. She got deeper into adaptive surfing. Liv bought some prosthetic paddles to wear on her hands to help with paddling out. She worked hard.

Liv worked so hard that she earned a spot on Team USA’s Paralympic surf team. She won two golds and one silver medal at the world championships. Her victory has given her a deeper self-confidence.

“At the end of the day, I am super confident now because without me being born this way, and without God’s gifts that he has given me, I wouldn’t be here now,” she said.

“I wouldn’t be in California. I wouldn’t be surfing. I wouldn’t have three gold medals. I wouldn’t be doing this right now and impacting as many people and I just believe that it is my calling to do this and I’m just overjoyed to share my story.”

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