Welcome, my name is Keiron McCammon and these are my musings.
I lost my left arm, mid-forearm, as a result of being severely electrocuted in a near fatal paragliding accident in Colombia in 2006. Unfortunately, I hadn’t seen there were powerlines in front of me as I was coming in to land and I ended up bodily colliding with them. An electrifying experience, as I like to joke, and not one I’d care to repeat.
I count myself fortunate to have survived and have been determined ever since to get on with my active lifestyle despite my amputation. It took over fifteen surgeries and two months in multiple hospitals before I finally got back home to San Francisco and the startup that I’d co-founded a year earlier. I needed multiple skin grafts to cover the burns on my right leg and a twelve-inch muscle flap from my left thigh, to cover the remaining stump of my left arm.
My amputation didn’t stop me from getting back to life, I love to snowboard and scuba dive and I even re-learned to play guitar left-handed for a bit. In 2008 I took up endurance sports with my wife, Kerry, and we both completed our first triathlon together that year. In 2009 I came in first-in-class at the Lavaman Triathlon in Kona and was training for my first half Ironman that October when a bike accident resulted in a broken collarbone and shattered left elbow, just two weeks before my race. I couldn’t seem to get a break.
Another surgery, lots of plates and screws and three months of recovery, and I was back at it again. It was at this point that I got introduced to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I fell in love with the work they do helping those with physical challenges to take part, to play the game, to compete or just be active and have fun. Racing triathlons brought me such a sense of purpose after my accident—it allowed me to be a shining example of the power of the human mind, body, and spirit and inspire others to overcome that which stops them from reaching their highest potential.
In 2010 I completed ten events in ten months to raise $10,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, culminating in my first 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon that November. In 2013 I completed my second Ironman triathlon at the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe, placing first-in-class. That was a cold, hard race! In 2016 I climbed the 19,341 feet to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and in 2017, completed my third Ironman at Ironman Lake Placid, again placing first-in-class. I’ve discovered it helps when there’s no-one else in your class!
Now I live in New York City with my wife, Kerry, and our dog, Jake. I’m working on my memoir, “Soaring—A Journey Beyond Survival,” a tale of losing my hand and learning to thrive and not just survive life’s little hiccups.