October 2, 2015 | 11 a.m.
By Rachel Wilson ’15
Many would have considered Jamie Kvamme ’08 an iconic Bethel graduate—kind, motivated, community-oriented, and athletic. But her plans and her path took a detour when a motorcycle accident a few years after graduation caused her to lose the lower half of her left leg.
“It's funny how we so easily say everything happens for a reason,” says Kvamme, “But when you're placed into these crazy scenarios in life, and you get to see—like, actually see-right-in-front-of-you see—God work through it. I'm like, well yeah, this definitely happened for a reason. For a lot of reasons.”
In addition to losing her leg in the accident, Kvamme also broke her pelvis. She was given a wheelchair and told not to bear any weight on her right leg. Eight weeks later, she upgraded to a walker and crutches. Following that, she received a state-of-the-art prosthetic leg by Ottobock, along with a rehab plan. Determined to recover her sense of normalcy and an active lifestyle, she soared through the recovery process.
Three months after the accident, Kvamme was back at work part-time. Despite her life-altering situation, her unusually optimistic demeanor caused those around her to take note. “I’ve found that people are the most amazed that I continue to be upbeat and positive considering all I’ve been through,” she says. “And this opens the door to a lot of interesting conversations.”
Kvamme was a communication studies major at Bethel. After an internship at SuperValu corporate offices in Minneapolis, she had a stint in communications and marketing at the University of Northwestern St. Paul. She then worked as a social media specialist at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Now at Polaris, a company specializing in high-quality, off-road vehicles, Kvamme works as a senior social media specialist. She uses her communications and social media expertise to promote a variety of specialized products, such as the Indian Motorcycle, Polaris Slingshot, and Polaris Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) brands. “I love their products and the lifestyle they sell, so it was a natural fit,” she says.
Kvamme is also an advocate for donating blood. What began as a way to get out of class in high school displayed its value firsthand when she received four units of blood after her motorcycle accident. “If I hadn't gotten that blood,” she says, “I wouldn't be here. Just a couple people giving 15 minutes of their time and a bag of blood was one of the things that saved my life. It's such a simple thing, but it makes a world of difference.”
Today, Kvamme is thrilled to have her earthly life. She sees it as a gift. A mission. A chance to tell her story. Above all, she seeks to pursue positivity and press onward amid life’s challenges. “The power of being positive is incredible,” she says. “I have the choice to either be sad, or press on and be positive. So I choose to be happy. And that has helped immensely.”
Kvamme and her husband Andy, reside in South Minneapolis. She is scheduled to speak at Bethel’s 2015 Homecoming Chapel.