However, when I first got diagnosed I didn't really know what being an amputee would mean to me. What would I be able to do and not do?
I started swimming the day after I had the stitches out of my leg. It gave me a sense of freedom I felt I'd lost and I thrived on it but more importantly it kept me fit and active which I am sure played an important part in my long-term recovery.
Despite being a county swimmer before my operation, within six months I was swimming quicker with one leg than before when I had two. Eighteen months later I went to my first Paralympic Games.
After five Paralympic Games and 12 medals I retired at the 2004 Athens Paralympics but I needed to find new challenges in my life.
The first challenge has been building my business as a motivational speaker which has me traveling and working around the world. The second is a passion for mountaineering, which in 2009 and 2010 will take me back to the Himalayas to attempt to climb Mount Everest.
Both require an exceptional level of fitness but also an exceptional artificial limb and Dorset Orthopedic have never let me down, providing me with a leg that I can walk around on all day everyday at work but also undertake some of the hardest mountaineering in the world.
Being active has been a way of life for me and has enabled me to live life to the full. I hope you can enjoy being active too. Read more about Marc at www.marcwoods.com.