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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.

Monday, July 01, 2013


To classify this past weekend as hectic would probably not be doing it justice. I woke up early Saturday morning in Orlando and finished my day at 11:00 P.M.  in southern Ohio. In between I was working, giving speeches, packing up the booth and traveling. I was exhausted by the time I arrived in Ohio, but being greeted by Robby wrapping his little arms and legs around me, covering me with kisses and promises that he was never going to let go, was the perfect way to end a very long day!

Public speaking is not something that comes naturally for me. I am much more comfortable telling my story and relaying my experiences when I am protected behind a computer screen. Standing in front of a crowd, even when it is filled with familiar faces, I feel vulnerable and scared. Although I don't relish the exposure, I do know that it is good for me to push my insecurities to the side and step outside my comfort zone.  Saturday afternoon, despite my anxieties, I stood in front of the conference and spoke openly and sincerely.

Preparing to speak, I reflected upon my life as an amputee. It's easy to dwell on the negatives. The sense of loss, the phantom pain, the socket issues and the obstacles that are encountered when living life with a disability often feel overwhelming. Wanting to be more uplifting, I challenged my thinking paradigm and tried to concentrate on the benefits.

Without a doubt, the greatest perk of living life as an amputees lies with the community. I have never encountered such an accepting and generous group of individuals. The level of amputation and the circumstances of our limb loss may differ, but the willingness to support and to share information seems to be universal. Working at the conference this past week, I witnessed strangers cheering on the first steps of a newbie, drying the eyes of a mother grieving the loss of her sons limb, and rallying to boost the self-esteem of a scared teenager. I have never been prouder to be a member of this community!

Bolstered by all of the positive energy abounding at the conference, I garnered my courage and spoke from my heart. To be honest I don't remember everything that I said, but I will never forget the connection that I felt with the audience. We were all there because we have lost part of our bodies, but at that moment we weren't consumed with what was missing.

We are becoming a community of individuals who prefer to celebrate what we can do instead of dwelling on what is difficult. I am hoping that this wave of empowerment continues beyond the conference because we have a lot of work to do.  I think prosthetic parity is a good place to start!

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