It’s estimated that more than 500 Americans lose a limb each day. More than two million Americans are currently living with a limb loss. Amazing statistics that many of us are shocked to hear. Perhaps it’s because prosthetic limbs have come such a long way that it can be hard to tell whether some is missing a limb or not. People with limb loss are around us every day, more than we realize, living full and active lives. I even know of a few police officers who have only one leg, marines who were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they can outrun most any bad guy in a chase! Many of our clients using wheelchair vans and/or hand controls use a prosthetic.
The Amputee Coalition is at the heart of a movement to educate the public about limb loss, especially in April, when they celebrate National Limb Loss Awareness Month. Their mission: to bring awareness about the risk factors and preventative steps that people can take to avoid losing limbs.
There are many causes of limb loss, such as auto accidents or construction injuries. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton lost her arm to a shark! But many amputations that occur in the USA are preventable, due to medical conditions such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease. The Amputee Coalition website has an informative listing they call “25 Ways to Avoid Limb Loss” with brief description identifying each. Go to their Limb Loss link here.
In addition to awareness, the Amputee Coalition offers scholarship programs, a marketplace for products, community forums for people with different interests and much more. They also have a comprehensive online library of resources, articles and publications called the National Limb Loss Information Center (NLLIC). You to also make donations online to help their cause. Go to www.amputee-coalition.org learn more about this terrific organization.