Those who have known me for any length of time know that I love holidays and commemorations. When April was designated as "Limb Loss Awareness Month" my celebratory juices started flowing. I was disappointed when, on April 1, ACA failed to mention the designation (that I might add was their brain child) on either their Facebook page or twitter account.
Commiserating with other amputees about the lack luster "kick off," I decided that it was time to take action. Using photo shop I created two ribbons that I posted on Facebook to educate and support Limb Loss Awareness Month. I was pleasantly surprised by the reception that my ribbon creations received. Many amputees have already adopted what I dub the "Official AmputeeMommy Limb Loss Awareness Ribbon" as their profile picture. Feel free to use the ribbons--our strength lies with our numbers.
The ACA website states that 507 individuals receive an amputation every day in the United States. That number is almost too high to comprehend. With so many Americans living with limb loss, why do we often feel isolated when it happens to us?
A main purpose behind the designation is to provide an opportunity to educate society about the amputees quietly living in the community. Prosthetics have become so advanced that many times the amputee can go unnoticed, leaving co-workers and neighbors unaware that another person is living with a limb loss. It is time to make our presence known!
With the assistance of my prosthetic facility (www.opc1.com), we are launching "National Strut Your Stuff Day" on Saturday, April 30. On this date, we are encouraging our amputee friends to forgo their cosmetic covers. Wearing shorts and showing your prosthetic with pride will be one of the best ways to bring the amputee community out of the shadows.
With awareness and education come an increased interest in research, innovations in technology and more acceptance. For those of you who feel comfortable, join me and stand with pride on "National Strut Your Stuff Day." Let's start a movement!