Four years ago, Noelle Lambert was in a moped accident that left her an amputee, losing her left leg. At the time, she was a freshman in college and a key member of its Division I Women’s Lacrosse team – but she refused to take a defeatist attitude. After reaching out to various foundations, she was given a running blade that allowed her to play and later, a waterproof prosthesis that empowered her with more mobility. Now, Noelle is paying things forward through her own foundation, The Born to Run Foundation, which gives children and young adults specialized prostheses. Because many insurance policies will not cover athletic prostheses, The Born to Run Foundation eases the financial burden for young amputees, in addition to building a community of peer support. Since December of 2019, the foundation has donated nine specialized prostheses, ultimately leveling the playing field for amputees to pursue their athletic dreams and achieve lifetime goals. Despite the physical challenges she’s faced, Noelle believes that losing her leg may have been one of the best things to happen to her, as it has imbued her life with a new purpose to give back and leave a lasting impact. In addition to her foundation work, Noelle is a member of the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Team. She currently holds the American record in the 100m for T73 classification group and is currently training for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.
It is truly an honor to be chosen as a L’Oréal Paris Woman of Worth where I join other incredible women who are all doing amazing things to support others. The award will help me spread the message that suffering a tragedy does not mean your life has to change for the worse and that good things can still happen to you if you work to make things better for you and others. I often say that my accident was the best thing that ever happened to me as it has made me a better athlete, a better teammate, a better daughter, a better friend and has given me the opportunity to help other young amputees see an active future for themselves. I am very grateful to L’Oreal for the recognition.