Paralympian Jessica Long’s beginnings will leave you reaching for your tissues. This Super Bowl ad from Toyota delivers a powerful message about the promise of life no matter the circumstances.
When Jessica’s mother, Mrs. Long, got a call from an adoption agency that they’d found a baby for her, she was overjoyed. The agent had some troubling news for her about the baby’s condition.
“Her life, it won’t be easy,” the agent says, and there is a long pause on the other end before Mrs. Long replies. “It won’t be easy,” she says, “But it will be amazing.”
That determination has followed Jessica Long, now the second-most decorated Paralympian athlete in U.S. History, throughout her life. It’s with that spirit that she’s made it onto 4 Paralympic teams and won 23 medals – 13 of them golds.
Long was born in Russia with a rare condition called fibular hemimelia. This condition meant that her legs would need to be amputated below the knee and that she would walk in prosthetics.
But Long found comfort in swimming. “I can move in a way I can’t always on land,” she says of her freedom in the water. Her drive inspires all of us to push our limits and do better.