"What happened to your leg?" is a question that Mandy Young is asked everyday. But there is no easy answer. She has lived a life that most would not choose to live. From staying months at a time in hospitals, to 33+ years of research, to being diagnosed as the only person in the world that has her exact genetic defect (IRAK4). And while her life has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, she wouldn’t change a single day.
Growing up, she was consumed with illness. But the most devastating was when she lost her left leg and hip to a massive infection.
Her story has been featured in countless newspaper articles like USA Today, in Good Housekeeping Magazine and on T.V. shows like Extra, Montel Williams, NBC Nightly News and international programming like CNN’s Medical Mysteries. She has been honored to be the spokesperson for several organizations and the "Face of Hope" for the new Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the National Institutes of Health.
She's a southern social butterfly; who loves her family, friends, sweet tea, the color pink and most of all the Lord! She believes she's one of the cheesiest people you'll know and that the simple things in life are the best. And long ago she realized her life was too complicated to handle on her own, but with Him everything got easier. "Sometimes I have to remind myself of three things. God will onlygive you what you can handle, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and when you start to doubt that's when God gives you more to prove that you can get through it." says Mandy. And she does it all with a smile on her face.
While sitting at a Christian Women's Conference she realized "God gave you a story, a personality that has never met a stranger and a mouth that never stops talking...Mandy THIS is what you're supposed to be doing!! And giving Him the glory for it all!!" So, with her contagious spirit, warm smile and Jesus loving heart, she began sharing her testimony in hopes of helping others overcome obstacles they may be facing and to inspire hope through the love of Jesus.
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT MANDY
~ Mexican food and Disney movies are what she calls her love language.
~She loves to dress up in funny one legged Halloween costumes. So far she's been a shark attack and the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story!
~She loves cook books, recipes and cooking shows but has no clue how to cook without a recipe with pictures.
~You will never find spaghetti, cucumbers or coconut on her plate. No thank you!
~She is a volunteer"wish grantor" for Make-A-Wish Georgia. She was a wish child and loves to help other wishes come true!
~Mandy is known as an insta-friend. When people met her they feel like the have been friends for years!
~ Yes she is friends with Kirk and Candace Cameron. They have been friends for over 27 years!
~She lived in a hotel for a year. Not for fun but because her cell phone charger caught her house on fire and it took a year to rebuild.
~She played softball (until 7 years ago when her knee gave out). She was a third baseman and catcher. She was captain of her high school team, played travel ball and was once endorsed by Mizuno.
~Mandy loves note cards! She loves to send cards and get cards! Mail used to be fun but now being a grown up it's all bills so she loves sending others love notes through snail mail.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."