Local athlete who lost leg in crash now aiming for 2020 Paralympics

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A former local Division 1 lacrosse player who lost her leg in a horrific crash is now aiming for the stars and competing for Team USA. Last summer Noelle Lambert set an American record at the World Para Athletics Championship.

"My goal is to compete in Tokyo at the 2020 Paralympics in August or September this year," she said.

Just four summer’s ago, Noelle lost her left leg in a moped crash on Martha’s Vineyard.

"[I] wanted to keep my spirits up and always wanted to have that attitude [that] I wasn't going to let that accident define who I was going to become," she said.

Noelle now has a prosthetic leg, but it certainly hasn't slowed her down. Barely two years after the injury she returned to the UMass Lowell women's lacrosse team and scored a goal in her first game back.

Related: UMass Lowell lacrosse player scores goal in first game after losing part of leg

And now Noelle continues to amaze those around her with her positive attitude.

"She’s created this life based on her accident and it’s really pretty amazing,” said Kirsten Kochanek, Noelle’s trainer. “There’s no, ‘woe is me’ days. I’m sure there are, but it’s rare."

After her injury Noelle took up running and established the 'Born to Run Foundation,' which donates specialized prosthetics to younger adults and children so they can live a fun and fulfilling life and don’t have to worry about the financial burden of a cost of a prosthetic.

"Being able to give back because I know that there are thousands of amputees out there that think their lives are over when this happens to them or their born with it,” Noelle said. “And just having that reassurance that your life is not going to be over is very important."

Noelle has competed all over the world and says one of her biggest thrills was back at home when she met Boston’s most beloved athlete, Tom Brady. He even signed her prosthetic.

"It’s been actually my biggest accomplishment yet, I think,” she said. “Getting to meet him, it was amazing and it will never wash off, and Tom Brady, if you’re [reading] this, you need to come back."

Noelle says her foundation has donated six prosthetic legs so far. She says most prosthetics are not covered by insurance and they can run anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.