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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Strut Your Stuff

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, and I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out the best way for this blog to honor the designation. After much thought, I figured that the best way to commemorate Limb Loss Awareness Month is by staying true to myself and my core beliefs.

While much emphasis has been placed on preventing limb loss, obviously a worthy endeavor, I want to do something to address those who are trying to adjust. Self-acceptance is an issue close to my heart. I will never forget the struggle and the feelings of confusion and isolation that I felt after I became an amputee. I was the only one I knew missing a limb, and I felt alone. Despite its pitfalls, the Internet has done a lot to break down the barriers of isolation by allowing amputees to connect and share experiences.

I started this blog to reach out and perhaps to make the journey a little easier for the new amputee. I am frequently contacted by amputees who are terrified to venture back into their lives because their body has changed. Physically they have healed; emotional scars and body image issues many times take a lot longer.

There are 507 amputations every day in this country. Unfortunately too many amputees feel isolated and scared because they are suddenly physically different than their friends and family. I have been an amputee for nearly 9 years, yet I continue to occasionally feel the frustration of "being the only one" in a group. Sometimes, being different can be downright scary!

Last year I introduced "Strut Your Stuff Day" as an attempt to minimize the feeling of being different. I am asking amputees who feel comfortable (and are able) to make their prosthetics visible during the day. Wear shorts, forgo the cosmetic cover, and hold your head up high.

Yes, there will be stares--it's human nature to look at anything out of the norm. But perhaps knowing that amputees around the country are making the same gesture at the same time will help buffer the anxiety that garnering attention can bring. I'd like to invite you to join me on April 28th (the last Saturday in April) for our second annual "Strut Your Stuff Day."

Join us on Facebook, twitter #strutyourstuff or through this blog and let us know how you are going to Strut on the 28th. AmputeeMommy ribbon gear is available through www.cafepress.com/amputeemommy

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