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Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton has opened up about how faith and family helped her through the shark attack that changed her life.
“13 years ago from today life with one arm began. So many doubts, fears and unknowns flooded my world,” she wrote in the caption of a photo she posted Monday to her social media accounts. “But the hope I found as a Christian led me to overcome, along with the amazing support of my family, the kindness of my community and my life's passions.”
Hamilton, 26, had her left arm severed by a shark during an attack off the coast of Hawaii when she was 13. Determined not to let her injury hamper her ambitions, she return to the water a month later and was competing within a year. She turned professional in 2007.
Most recently, in May, she beat a six-time world champion to place third in the World Surf League’s Fiji Women’s Pro.
“It's true overcoming challenges can make us stronger. We can adapt and thrive beyond our imagination in this challenging world; and be a hope to others in their challenges!” she wrote in the post to her Facebook and Instagram accounts. “This may sound cheesy but these actions make me smile. Shine bright. Sparkle, Rock it! #surfslikeagirl #soulsurfer #overcome”
Hamilton is also a mother to 1-year-old Tobias. She and her husband Adam Dirks, a Christian youth minister, welcomed their son in June 2015.
Hamilton’s story was the inspiration behind the 2011 movie, “Soul Surfer.”