ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – The United Way of Southwest Virginia’s 2023 Rural Summit in Abingdon will feature survivor Aron Ralston as a keynote speaker.

A release from the United Way states Ralston, whose story of surviving after an 800-pound boulder trapped him inspired an Oscar-nominated film, will lead the opening keynote address at the summit in October. Ralston’s address is entitled, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Turning Adversity to Advantage.”

In 2003, Ralston was trapped by a boulder in a Utah canyon for six days and ultimately severed his own arm in order to escape. Ralston was rescued, and his story inspired the film “127 Hours,” starring James Franco.

With the aid of prosthetics, Ralston has been able to return to his outdoor adventures and has inspired crowds with retellings of his experience pinned by the boulder.

Other speakers at the summit include Virginia state officials, business leaders and magician and comedian Brad Montgomery.

The 2023 Rural Summit will be held at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon on Oct. 26-27. Tickets for both days are available for $95, but ticket prices increase to $115 on Oct. 1. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit the United Way’s website.