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Warren MacDonald        

Adventurer, Author & Motivational Speaker; Double Above the Knee Amputee

Warren Macdonald’s inspirational survival story began in April 1997 with his accident on North Queensland’s (Australia) Hinchinbrook Island. Climbing to the Island’s tallest peak, he became trapped beneath a one-ton boulder in a freak rock fall. Two days later he was rescued, only to undergo the amputation of both legs at mid-thigh.

Just ten months later, he climbed Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain using a modified wheelchair and the seat of his pants.

In 2003, he became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (19,222 ft). Later that same year, in a spectacular effort requiring more than 2,800 pull-ups over 4 days, he climbed America's tallest cliff face, El Capitan. Warren is also the only above knee amputee to make an ascent of Canada’s landmark frozen waterfall, the 600 ft “Weeping Wall” in Alberta.

Warren’s bestselling first book, A Test of Will is the subject of the “Trapped under a Boulder” episode of the Discovery Channel series “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”.

His film documenting the epic four-week journey to Federation Peak, Australia most challenging mountain summit, The Second Step, has been acclaimed worldwide, screening on National Geographic Television and winning eight international awards including Grand Prize at the prestigious “Banff Mountain Film Festival”.

Warren has appeared on numerous news and current affairs programs, including “Larry King Live”, “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, and “The Hour” with George Stroumboulopoulos.

Warren works with businesses and associations looking to develop their resilience and to help foster a mindset shift towards “out of the box” thinking through his work as a Keynote Speaker.

Warren lives in Canmore, Alberta with his partner Margo Talbot.

Speech Topics

One Step Beyond: Setting and Reaching Impossible Goals

It’s all well and good to set seemingly impossible goals – the kind that has your team looking at you like you’re nuts, like this time you’ve really lost it… The solution? You need them to see what you see. You need to inspire your team to follow you; to show them what is possible when you’re prepared to go One Step Beyond: beyond ordinary, beyond conventional, and beyond perceived limitations.

It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Take a lesson from someone who has seen his world change on a scale few could imagine. Waking from the operation that claimed both legs, Warren faced a whole new world and a whole new reality. Navigating such change takes courage, and the number one tool in creating our future is PERCEPTION.

We need a vision for the kind of world we want to live in. You can react with fear, apathy, or straight out denial, or you can respond from a place of possibility. We have an opportunity now to create something new; something better. But we need to see it first, and Warren Macdonald can help us form that vision for a better world.

In this keynote presentation, Macdonald shares the lessons and tools he’s used to create a remarkable life from what many would have considered a “game over” scenario.

Challenge of Change: Finding Opportunity in Adversity

We’ve all heard it a million times: “change is constant,” “the only certainty in life is change,” “change or perish.” We all know it; what we need is for someone to show us how to deal with it. Macdonald’s Challenge of Change presentation will help your group realize that challenges brought on by change hold endless opportunities for innovation and personal and professional growth - that it is possible to not just survive, but to thrive despite adversity.

Next Level Quality of Care: A Patients Testimony

Healthcare workers face the fallout every day for themselves and their patients. Then when we add all the changes going on in healthcare, it’s easy to forget why you got into the healthcare profession to begin with. One of the strongest connections Warren feels with an audience is when he gets to share his patient story with those in healthcare. He has seen firsthand what work healthcare professionals do; He’s been there, on the receiving end. Warren had never even been in hospital until that night, after being rescued off of the side of a remote mountain, and then wheeled on a stretcher into your world…Ten days in intensive care, a month in the first hospital, then seven months of rehabilitation; learning how to live as a double above knee amputee. Whether you’re a front line practitioner or clinician, a caregiver, caseworker or a hospital administrator, what you do changes lives.

Warren’s story represents someone who really could feel sorry for himself but instead has pulled himself up (literally) to excel at living a meaningful and productive life. He will share his patient testimony to show how you should never forget that you make a difference in the lives of so many. His story is awe inspiring and reminds healthcare workers that they are in a position to help/hinder others, including themselves. Warren will help your maintain your belief in the human spirit that exists in each one of us!

One Step Beyond: Setting and Reaching Impossible Goals

A Test of Will: Finding Opportunity in Chang


Double amputee Warren Macdonald changes your view of life ...
After losing both legs, Warren McDonald decided to see everything as a challenge. He's still climbing mountains and giving others a boost up.

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