Person of the Week: Aimee Mullins, Advocate for Women

The former model, actress and Paralympics athlete uses her medical condition to inspire others.
3:17 | 12/01/12

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Transcript for Person of the Week: Aimee Mullins, Advocate for Women
And finally tonight, our "person of the week." A few days from now, a young woman will be standing on a stage at a gathering honoring american women of worth. Women who changed the lives of others. Her name is amy mullen. We first heard about her after she electrified an audience at the famous t.E.D. Conference on big ideas. There she was, on stage, confident, charismatic and daring anyone to use the word sabled. Handicapped, senile. Decrepe pid. I think that the only true disability is a crushed spirit. Reporter: Amy mullen, standing tall, on artificial legs. When she was just a baby, doctors amputated both her legs below the knee. She had been born without shin bones. With the encouragement of an athletic coach at georgetown university, she began to push herself, seeing, she says, opportunity and adversity. I moved past being a little girl that was trying to blend in and just have people not look at my legs as the defining characteristic of me. Reporter: And so she became the first amputee to compete on an ncaa track team. And when she set three world records at the 1996 paraolympics, she made headlines. Something to the effect of, disabled athlete amy mullen runs faster than you can. And I thought, how disabled am i? Reporter: She found her voice and began to laugh. After all, onl she can decide how tall she's going to be today. How did you decide how tall you wanted to be? It's a mood. Reporter: And she told us the secret is to surround yourself with the people who push you to say yes. Yes to a commercial for l'oreal. There's only one match for me, and I'm worth it. Reporter: Yes to the opportunity to walk the run way AT AN alexander McQueen fashion show on artificial legs with six-inch heels. Just even thinking about it now, my adrenaline is pumping. I thought, don't hit the of the con consequences of what happens when you fall. Just get to the end of the runway, turn around and come back. Reporter: Not bad advice for life. Yeah. I think that the reaction, the response that I've had from so many people, who know nothing of a life with prosthetic legs, but do know what it's like to feel that they're not normal. That feel that they're different and that their difference is valued less. Has been overwhelming for me. Reporter: Amy mullen, offering strength to everyone who needs the courage to be who they really are. If you can hand somebody the key to their own power, the human spirit is so receptive. You're teaching them to open doors for themselves. Thank you. And so we choose amy mullen, who told us about a persian gold who only says four words. "Come, let us dance." Thank you for watching. Always here at abcnews.Com.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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