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Hi I'm Jarem

I built my own leg, I make the impossible, possible... and I'm a Mormon.

About Me

Work: I am the founder and president of SymBiotechs USA, a prosthetics design and manufacturing company. I am a cancer survivor and an AKA (Above Knee Amputee). I design and manufacture products that allow for snowboarding, wakeboarding, skiing, rock climbing, and other activities that were previously considered impossible for AK amputees. The hardest part about cancer for me was the loss of "normal." That ability to do things that were already an important part of life to me. The ability to live a normal life again is my cure to the worst parts of cancer. I like to think it's just as important to the patients who tell us we've given them their lives back as well. These patients include other cancer survivors, soldiers injured in the line of duty, extreme athletes who have suffered amputation, and others around the world. Personal accomplishments: Through the use of my designs, I have personally become the world's first above knee amputee (AKA) telemark skier, pro rock climber, and wakeboarder. More exciting to me, I have built a company that is blessing lives around the world! I have made things possible that I was told I would never be able to do as an amputee, and now other amputees worldwide are doing the impossible with me. These accomplishments have all been wonderful blessings I never could have achieved without God's hand in my life. Family: I can't possibly do my parents justice for all they have given me. Both of them spent unusual amounts of time with me teaching, inspiring, and just loving me and my siblings through our lives. My wife is the most amazing woman I know! I fell in love with her 'before' first sight. I was getting my hair cut by her friend when she came over to visit. The second I heard her voice my heart jumped and the next several seconds felt like ages as I waited to see her face. She came around the front of my chair to say hello and all my suspicions were confirmed. I began chasing after her that night. Together we've had two amazing boys and we have another on the way. My family is the greatest joy in my life and truly a blessing from heaven. Future: I will continue developing prosthetics that will further the possibilities for amputees to participate in full and active lifestyles for work, play, and family life. I am working to build a company that not only provides the products to make the impossible a reality, but that also inspires people's minds to believe in their own possibilities. I am also working to design and provide prosthetics for the specific needs of third world countries while we are developing advanced prosthetics for more modern countries. Philosophy: Never shy from a complement or shrug it off trying to be humble. Anything complementary about you is a gift from God. To deny that you are worthy of the complement is to deny the gifts of God. Accept praise as it comes, but praise God always and give thanks to Him in all things.

Why I am a Mormon

I am LDS (Mormon) because I believe that God still loves His children and that in today's world, more than ever, we need Him in our lives! I know that a God who has always followed a pattern of revealing His truths and guiding His children through this difficult life would not leave us helpless to find our way through this life, hoping to find the right 'opinion' of his word out of thousands of beliefs and interpretations. I know that Jesus Christ is my savior and that He has called prophets in our times just as He did in biblical times. Why wouldn't He? We need His direct guidance now more than this world ever has! I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet just like Moses was, and that our current prophet Thomas S. Monson is too. I have earned these beliefs through careful study of both the Book of Mormon and the Bible and through sincere prayer to our Father in Heaven.

How I live my faith

When I was fourteen years old I was diagnosed with bone cancer in my left leg. For the next two years I was in and out of the hospital for chemotherapy and about nine surgical operations that involved amputating my leg above the knee. As an active fourteen-year-old, all I could focus on at the time was staying active, and being "normal". At school I was called a skinhead and threatened by other kids who didn't know why I had no hair. I was avoided by kids who thought cancer might be contagious and I experienced many other reactions. I always tried to stay positive, reminding myself often that if God had a plan for me, I didn't need to worry about anything else. I miss that child-like faith that becomes so hard to hold on to as life gets more complex. After cancer I was often asked things like "wasn't that so terrible for you?" and "weren't you so depressed while you went through all of that?" I thought back to the nights in a hospital bed, knowing that it was leading to my amputation and hoping just to stay alive, but I hadn't experienced any of those emotional burdens. I realized why one day while I was reading the Book of Mormon. Speaking of the coming Christ, The prophet Alma wrote "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and sicknesses of his people." (Alma 7:11). I realized that my simple trust in the Savior had allowed the burdens of my illness to be lifted from me, and absolved in His atonement! It had never clicked for me before, that an infinite atonement could not only save me from sin, but also deliver me from sadness, despair, illness, and pain. Since that time I have tried to remember that simple principle and apply the atonement of Christ in every part of my life. Every aspect of my life has been a blessing from God! I believe that He has endless blessings for all of us. Some are disguised as challenges and many are difficult to recognize as blessings, but with His help, and just a little bit of faith on our part, blessings we never would have imagined are available to us. Just as anyone would share something that has blessed their life so much, I try to share the joy our Savior has given me with others in hopes that they will find the same joy and rescue that I have.

What is being a Mormon like?

Jarem
A lot of people I meet in the mountain sports industry tell me that they see the mountains as their religion. They tell me they are against "organized religions" and often think they are too restrictive. I feel close to God in the mountains as well, but I'm often asked "what's wrong with just doing whatever makes you happy"? "Why does there have to be so many rules"? "How can you be happy with all those restrictions"? Those used to be a hard questions for me. I believe that we SHOULD be happy. I recently realized that I'm living those beliefs though. I AM doing what makes me happy. I love this gospel! It fills my life with joy, gives me strength, and picks me up when I fall down. I AM living the way that makes me happy. God knows our nature and He knows what will bring us the greatest joy. We can spend all our lives looking for happiness our own way, or we can take a short cut right to true happiness, by following God's teachings and His laws. I haven't met anyone who is happier because they live contrary to the gospel! God's laws only restrict us from harming ourselves and others, becoming slaves to addiction, and being distracted from true happiness by looking for it in places that can never offer real and lasting joy. The question is not 'should we do what makes us happy?' but rather, 'what is true happiness and what truly makes us most happy?' I feel like I have the answers to both those questions and that is both comforting and exciting all at once! Show more Show less