Kevin Lu's 31st birthday was almost his last.
"I just remember going home, blacking out, and then waking up in the hospital," Lu recalled.
Lu was riding his motorcycle along the Cross Island Parkway on his way home to Flushing when he was hit by a tractor trailer.
"From what the EMTs told me, by the time they arrived at the scene I was on the wrong side of the highway without my gear, my helmet or anything, just bleeding there," Lu said.
Lu's injuries were so bad, doctors didn't expect him to survive.
Both of his legs had to be amputated.
He now walks with the help of prosthetics.
It's been more than two years since his accident and the road to recovery hasn't been an easy one.
Lu says it was hard to stay positive. He relied on the strength of family, friends, and support groups to navigate life without his legs.
"As long as you have a strong support system, you can overcome anything," Lu said.
Which leads to Kevin Lu's opportunity to pay it forward.
He's a shoulder to lean on for other amputees.
His doctors at New York-Presbyterian Queens say "peer mentoring" is vital to a patient's recovery.
"Having the encouragment from your doctors, from other patients who have had a similar experience, just to let you know what the next steps are, what to expect -- the good and the bad. It shows there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you to improve," said Dr. Elan Goldwyn, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Queens.
And that's what Lu tries to show others as he himself works toward his goals.
"Everyone that I've met and talked to is just really positive and active. So, it just makes you realize that everything is possible, it's just done a little differently," Lu said.
And so for showing others there is life after tragedy, Kevin Lu is our New Yorker of the Week.