Couric’s talk show debuts Sept. 10 and will air locally weekdays at 3 p.m. on WSB-TV, Channel 2, in Atlanta. The first show on Sept. 10 will feature Jessica Simpson and Sheryl Crow.
According to a news release on the show’s web page, Copeland will walk onto the stage with the help of her prosthetics.
“Still facing a rigorous recovery process and learning to use her prosthetics, Aimee’s battle has defied the odds, demonstrating that a truly positive attitude, persistence and an unrelenting belief in oneself makes moving on from a tragedy a very real possibility,” the release says. “Aimee will share her story of survival, how she encouraged those closest to her during this trying period and discuss her new life.”
Copeland contracted the life-threatening infection after cutting her leg in a May 1 fall into the Little Tallapoosa River near Carrollton in a homemade backyard zipline accident.
Doctors diagnosed Copeland with necrotizing fasciitis, a bacterial infection that emits toxins that can destroy muscle and skin tissue. Both of Copeland’s hands, her left leg and her right foot were amputated at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta. She recently completed two months of rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. She returned to her Gwinnett County home, where “Aimee’s Wing,” a 2,000-square-foot, $200,000 addition, was built as a donation by Pulte Homes and other businesses.
Copeland is due to make a public appearance on Sept. 14 in her hometown of Snellville and a Sept. 22 benefit motorcycle ride and concert in Villa Rica.
The Sept. 22 benefit ride and concert will be staged at The Mill amphitheater in Villa Rica, according to event organizer Ronnie Capes.
“Signup for the 63-mile motorcycle ride will begin at 7 a.m.,” Capes said. “The ride will start at 10 a.m. and will have a full police escort.”
The ride will be a circular route from Villa Rica to Carrollton, Whitesburg, McIntosh Reserve on Highway 5, Roopville, to Carrollton on U.S. Highway 27 and back to Villa Rica on Georgia Highway 61.
“We’re expecting about 2,000 riders, depending on the weather,” Capes said. “The registration fee is $20 per bike and $10 for passengers. We’ll be giving free T-shirts to the first 150 riders who sign up.”
He said proceeds from the ride will benefit Copeland, who is due to appear at The Mill from 4 to 8 p.m. to meet people.
The Villa Rica event will include children’s activities, food, a pool tournament and a Red Cross blood drive, if a suitable building can be found to hold it, Capes said.
Performing bands will include Paris Luna, with Barry Waldrep opening the show; Americana Express, the music group of Gary Duke, Copeland’s employer at Sunnyside Cafe in Carrollton; The Return, a Beatles tribute band; and Ringers Crossroad, a classic rock band.
Additional information about the show is available by calling Capes at 404-569-2169.
Jesse Duke, Gary Duke’s son and a close friend of Copeland, has visited her since her return home and said recently that “all things considered, Aimee is doing great.”
“She’s very optimistic and still a very happy, bubbly person,” Duke said. “She plans to use all this to better other people and to help others. I haven’t really seen it affect her negatively. It’s only been positive for Aimee.”
Upon her discharge from the hospital, Copeland said she hopes to use her spare time while recovering to finish work on her thesis so she can receive her master’s degree in psychology at University of West Georgia.