Joseph Pleban took the brave decision to have his left foot removed when doctors told him he had a rare bone and joint disease that was causing recurring benign tumours in his ankle.
However after realising an amputation would allow him to pursue his passion, Pleban, from Fredericksburg, Va., decided to say good-bye to his foot in style.
“Over six years I had to give up all of the sports I loved. Although taking my ankle away was a big sacrifice, the chance to regain the ability to play those sports again meant it was a no-brainer," he explained.
“It took me a little while to get past the emotional hurdles. As a way to come to terms with what was happening I decided to capture the journey in pictures.”
Pleban and his girlfriend Johnna Hetrick, 26, started the photo record three months before his surgery.
The couple did a number of extreme activities during that time and even found time for a holiday in the Caribbean.
“We drew up a list of things, which we wanted to do while I could. It was heartbreaking to lose it, but that wasn’t going to stop me doing things before I lost it," the 23-year-old said.
“Right before the surgery, I freaked out a bit. I realised there would be no way to turn back from my decision once I’d had the surgery," he added.
“But as soon as I woke up from the surgery and looked down, I knew I had done the right thing."
Pleban said he is already planning his Halloween costume ideas with his girlfriend.