Survivor: Nicaragua Amputee Athlete Inspired by Father's Legacy

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2010) – Kelly Bruno, the fastest female amputee to finish the 2007 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, will compete to survive the tribal battle on the 21st edition of the Emmy award-winning CBS TV series Survivor on Sept. 15.

An amputee since infancy, Bruno credits her father for her persistence to overcome challenges.

“I have always thought of myself as a strong person, but I think Survivor made me rethink the definition of strong,” said Bruno, a tribal member of La Flor. “Every day out there required a mindset founded on resolve. And I am a better and stronger person for every day I was out there.”

Her father, Dr. Richard Bruno, was in Haiti chaperoning a mission trip with Food For The Poor when the catastrophic earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, instantly claiming hundreds of thousands of lives. Thousands of buildings and homes collapsed, including the Hotel Montana, where Dr. Bruno lost his life.

“My father was there with Food For The Poor to bring hope and aid to people less fortunate,” said Bruno, a University of North Carolina medical student. “My dad was a doctor, a teacher and a humanitarian – he was always willing to help others, and strove daily to live his life to the fullest. His legacy will be carried on by all the lives he touched.”

During Bruno’s childhood she was fortunate to live abroad where she saw brief glimpses of others struggling with poverty. She said watching her dad and sister volunteer has inspired her to make a difference in the lives of others.

"I have always planned on incorporating medical mission trips into my career and now more so than ever,” said Bruno.

For more than a decade, Food For The Poor has worked in Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. According to the World Bank, approximately 50 percent of the population lives in poverty, and lacks access to safe water. The leading causes of death among children under a year old are intestinal infectious diseases and malnutrition.

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed the millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. To learn more, please visit

Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations
954.427.2222, ext. 6054

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