Inspirational Blind Veteran and Adventurer
Ever since he was a small child, Steve Baskis had wanted to serve in the military like his father and grandfather. He enlisted and was injured just eight months into his deployment. Now, his resultant blindness has instilled in him a drive to test his own potential and push the boundaries of what disabled people are perceived capable of doing. A testament to the human spirit, Baskis has become self-sufficient, fallen in love, gotten married, and summited three mountains – all after going blind. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, he addresses motivation, inspiration, overcoming adversity, and pushing the limits of human potential.
The Injury and Recovery. In January 2007, Baskis enlisted in the army with the goal of becoming a Green Beret. He graduated with honors from Fort Benning and earned a meritorious promotion. By the end of 2007, Steve and his platoon were stationed in Iraq. Eight months into his deployment, his squad was attacked while on combat patrol. A sophisticated roadside bomb sent a projectile through his heavily-armored vehicle, killing his friend and severely wounding Baskis. A week later, he woke up half way around the world in Walter Reed Medical Hospital. A doctor told him that he was blind.
Over the next six weeks, Baskis underwent more than a dozen surgeries to remove shrapnel and repair the damage that included a fractured nose, fractured eye orbits, a fractured skull, and severe burns. A severed artery and severed nerves disabled his right leg and left arm. Despite it all, Baskis amazed his doctors with his attitude and his recovery. As soon as permitted, Baskis transferred to Hines VA Blind Rehabilitation Center, where he learned to maneuver and function while blind.
The Blind Adventurer. As an admitted “adrenaline junkie,” Baskis was eager to participate in sports that would get him back in shape. He competed as a cyclist in the State Games of America and in a half Ironman in Augusta, Georgia. “The race was grueling and pushed me to the limit,” he recalls, “But I did not give up and I forced myself across the finish line.” He also attempted the Chicago Marathon, reluctantly dropping out due to pain in his injured leg.
Baskis rebounded by climbing the third highest volcano in Mexico with a team that included blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer. At 17,126 feet, Ixta (Ixtaccíhuatl) is also the seventh highest peak in North America. Despite losing sensation in his injured left arm, Baskis reached the summit on Veterans Day. He also participated in Weihemayer’s Soldiers to the Summit expedition, in which 11 wounded veterans summited Lobuche East (8.7 miles from the top of Mount Everest). Baskis then climbed Kilimanjaro. Currently, he is working to join the national Paralympics cycling team with the goal of entering the 2016 games.
Humanitarian Efforts. In the long run, Baskis wants to start an organization that will allow other disabled individuals a chance to enjoy what they never thought possible. He has also volunteered with Eric Greitens’ organization The Mission Continues. “I hope will inspire others. I do not find my injury as severe as some would say…There is always something you can do, and it is up to you to find that internal drive to move forward. Never dwell on the negative, drive forward as fast and as hard as you can. If you are capable of that, there is nothing that will hold you back.”
Emersive telepresence technology now available in downtown DC
Get a Quote
You Don’t Know What You’re Capable of until You’re Tested. In a moving presentation, Steve Baskis shares his story and how he found the courage to overcome the adversity that his newfound blindness had caused. He transforms the perceptions of what disabled people are capable of doing and inspires others to find inner strength to rise to challenges and test their potential. Baskis uses stories from his adventures and his training to be an Olympian to illustrate the opportunity in life, and he motivates others to achieve their goals.
Climbing Mountains, Inspiring Minds. A testament to the human spirit, Baskis has become self-sufficient, fallen in love, gotten married, and summited three mountains – all after going blind. In his talks, he shares stories from his adventures while detailing what drove him to push his own boundaries. Never a typical patient, he amazed his doctors with his attitude and his recovery and as soon as he was able, started participating in sports that would get him back in shape. Baskis takes his audience through his journey while inspiring and motivating them to do the best in their own lives – regardless of the challenges they face.
Local Fee Range$5,001.00 to $10,000.00
West Coast Fee Range$5,001.00 to $10,000.00
East Coast Fee Range$5,001.00 to $10,000.00
This specific fee falls within this range. Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact your Leading Authorities representative.
World-Class Adventurer and Mountaineering Guide
Jeff Evans has always followed the call of the excitement and wildness of outdoor adventure. This pursuit of passion led to the formation of MountainVision Incorporated and a career which includes guiding clients up mountain peaks across the globe, professional speaking, and practicing as an emergency medicine Physician Assistant.
Decorated Army Commander and New York Giants Honorary Captain
Colonel Greg Gadson has survived the very worst of war, but this highly decorated American soldier has not been defeated by unfortunate circumstance; instead, his life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity.
Former Navy SEAL and Founder of The Mission Continues
Best-Selling Author of Strength and Compassion and The Heart and the Fist
A decorated soldier and international humanitarian, Eric Greitens combines courage and compassion to create a culture of civic engagement. Sharing his insights on leadership, ethics, and social responsibility, he maps out his strategies for shaping the next generation of America's leaders.
Medal of Honor Recipient
New York Times Best-Selling Author of Into the Fire
Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer is a United States Marine Corps veteran and the recipient of the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest honor, for his actions during the Battle of Ganjigal. He addresses inspiration, motivation, courage, leadership, believing in yourself, doing what is right, and what happened that day in Afghanistan.
World-Class Blind Adventurer
Inspiring audiences to have the courage to reach for near impossible goals, Erik Weihenmayer asks participants to dig deep to find the grit, determination, and ingenuity within to transform their lives. The first blind athlete to climb Mt. Everest, Weihenmayer shares how his daring adventures have shattered the perceptions of people all over the world and encourages others to use all of their senses to accomplish their dreams.
Award-Winning Wall Street Stockbroker, Best-Selling Author, and First Deaf Instrument Rated Pilot
Stephen J. Hopson has been profoundly deaf since birth but that hasn't stopped him! He is a former award-winning Wall Street stockbroker turned transformational speaker, best-selling author, and first deaf instrument rated pilot in the world. As a transformational speaker, Stephen is a warm, charismatic and master storyteller who weaves inspiring anecdotes from his life experiences into the fabric of his keynote presentations to bring home the message that overcoming the impossible really is possible if one has the heart to persevere.
Headquarters / Washington, DC
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036-3435
330 High Holborn
London, United Kingdom
+44 207 849 6893 phone
20 N. Clark Street, Suite 803
Chicago, IL 60602
International Pte. Ltd.
3 Church Street Level 8,
Samsung Hub Singapore 049483
Thanks to @HaleyBarbour and everyone who attended. Our next ALS event will be in 2014! #LAIevents
12/4/2013 2:43:10 PM
Speakers Bureau FAQs