I'm invincible, I'm a genius, and I can do anything! At least that's the mantra I've been affirming in my life for the past decade or so. I lost my leg to bone cancer when I was 14 years old. That's when I started telling myself that I could do anything. It was important to me to be able to do anything my friends were doing. For me it meant that I wasn't disabled if I was still ABLE to do what normal kids did.
This led to a much more active life than I would have had if I'd never lost my leg. It also led to the necessity of telling myself that I was invincible. I agree with the idea that what the mind believes, the body achieves, and the kind of things I was doing to prove that I could do just as much or more than all of my friends, were a little more on the daring side than the skill end of things.
"...what the mind believes, the body
While racing with a National Jr. ski team, I had the idea to try telemark skiing. My coaches reactions to my off the cuff idea cemented the desire in my heart. Even my most supportive fans thought the idea was impossible at first. I knew I had to prove them wrong. I bought a bunch of old tele gear for $50 from a lift operator and gave it try. I quickly realized two things; One, everyone was right. Telemark skiing was impossible for an above knee amputee! And two, trying to telemark ski as an AKA really, really hurt!
"I had just become the first amputee
telemark skier in the world!!!"
I kept trying though, and as I did, I began to analyze why it wasn't working. I began to get a pretty good idea of what functions were holding me back, and what would need to be changed about my prosthetic to make it work. Eventually, I had a very clear idea in my head of what I need to be able to telemark ski on a prosthetic leg. With help from a machine and tooling student I built the first "tele leg" and tried it out early in January of 2000. With just a few minor adjustment I was making tele turns down the slopes at Park City, Utah! I couldn't believe it. I had just become the first amputee telemark skier in the world!!! The impossible had been conquered and was now possible. The praise began to roll in and that's when I started telling myself that I was a genius. There have been other times that a spark of genius has shined through my thick skull, but mostly I tell myself that because I want it to become true some day.
For several years I played with the design, really only using it for my own advantage, while people around me kept telling me that I should market the idea. I didn't think there would be a strong enough demographic to warrant bringing such a product to market but the idea stuck in my head. One summer I was trying to rock climb with some friends. I was able to climb everything they were, but one climb that gave us all a little trouble required my prosthetic leg to do things it just didn't want to. I realized that the solution to this problem would be my tele leg. If I put a climbing shoe on it, it would be perfect for the situation. The opened the door to the realization that what I had created was perfect for far more than just telemark skiing. The rest is history! In 2004 I sold the first "XT9? prosthetic sports knee. I later formed SymBiotechs USA, LLC with my wife in 2006 and that has been our life since then.
I'm Jarem Frye; I build my own legs... I make the impossible, possible, I am ignorant when it comes to boxes... and I am K12!
K12 Prosthetics | Northwest O&P | Summit O&P | Bonneville School of Sailing Race Team | IPG | Stance | Goal Zero | Momentum Climbing | Mountainworks |
1994 - Beat cancer!
1997 - Became World's first amputee telemark skier
1997 - Invented World's first energy storing prosthetic knee
2000 - Created the XT9 energy storing prosthetic knee
2001 - Became World's first (known) AKA wakeboarder
2002 - First amputee to compete in an FIS sanctioned World Cup
2002 - First above knee amputee to climb V7 bouldering grade
2003 - Frye's Rock bouldering area named after me
2004 - Sponsorships with Mad Rock Climbing and Trango Climbing
2005 - Married love of my life
2006 - Espablished SymBiotechs USA and took XT9 to market
2006 - Went global with SymBiotechs USA sales of XT9 ESPK
2006 - eXtremity Games World Champion - Rock Climbing
2006 - First Above Knee Amputee Competitive Wakeboarder
2007 - First son was born
2007 - First Above Knee Amputee (AKA) cross-country skier
2007 - LIVEstrong Challenge Portland Oregon
2008 - Traveled to 6 countries on 4 continents and did 58 flights establishing distributers, teaching ski clinics in Norway and promoting the XT9 ESPK
2009 - 2012 - Lots of sitting in the office doing less adventurous work, moved the company from Oregon to Utah, grew the family to three kids, got a little fat, failed first attempt to climb El Capitan
2012 - Colmination of technilogical contributions and other efforts leading to the acceptance of snowboarding in the Paralympic Games
2012 - Surpassed $1,000,000 total sales of the XT9 ESPK
2012 - Climbed El Capitan with first all amputee team ever to summit
2012 - Established new ability scale for amputees ranging from K0-K12
2012 - Re-branded SymBiotechs USA to K12 Prosthetics
2012 - Introduced the XT9air
2012 - Created the most advanced carbon fiber prosthetic knee frame ever made & developed new technologies in carbon fiber fabrication valuable to all top industries
· Become first AK amputee to climb 5.13 grade sport route
· Become first amputee to free climb the Nose of El Capitan
· Compete in the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi Russia
· Advance prosthetic technology to far greater levels
· Enhance amputee abilities to greater levels
· Empower amputees everywhere to live full active lifestyles to any level they desire!
Jarem apreaciates your support in letting the world know that life is possible! Thank you for spreading the word about K12 Prosthetics.
Jarem is occasionally availible for speaking engagements to corporate teams, athletic organizations, schools and religious groups.
Thank you for your support