What Life is Like with Limb Loss and How Fundraising Can Help Awareness
April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, a time to shine a light on this special community of people to know who they are and their struggle. Take a closer look at what limb loss is, how it impacts life and what you can do to help.
Across the country, nearly two million Americans have some type of limb amputation. April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, an opportunity to educate people about what it’s like to live with limb loss and limb difference for individuals and their families. This month is also dedicated to empowering -- and supporting -- those who are living with these challenges.
Preventing limb loss is another critical message, as many people don’t realize they are at high risk for amputation. By getting treatment for diabetes and peripheral artery disease, they can save their limbs. People with diabetes take note: 85% of lower-limb amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer.
Causes and Challenges of Limb Loss
There are many reasons an amputation is necessary, very often due to diabetes or poor circulation called peripheral arterial disease. Severe injury from trauma (a vehicle accident or serious burn, for example), cancer, or serious infection can also lead to amputation.
Amputees must adapt to a host of new physical challenges, including adapting to prosthetics. Innovative new technologies and advancements can have a tremendous impact on their recovery. From home modifications, agile wheelchairs, and prosthetics, there are many ways to help amputees start moving again and regain their physical independence.
However, their challenges come with a high cost. Prosthetic limbs are custom-fit for every patient and are built to withstand only three to five years of use -- meaning they must be replaced multiple times over a lifetime. Also, home improvements are necessary to accommodate the individual’s needs. While insurance will likely cover some costs, the high cost typically exceeds insurance coverage limits.
Fundraising for Empowerment
Across the world, people dedicate their time and energy to raise limb loss awareness and fundraise for these expensive needs. They hold events in their communities to empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential.
Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation started its annual Amputee Awareness 5K Walk, Wheel or Run for the first time aligned with April's Limb Loss and Limb Difference Month in 2015. Farhad Ostovari, Physical Therapy Manager of the outpatient amputee program at Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation, had the vision to bring his patients and community together for an event with the goal of raising money for those patients who do not have the means to pay for crucial medical necessities.
Now in the event's sixth year, patients with limb loss, their families, and many community supporters have grown to love participating and look forward to this event. Due to COVID, we were unable to have this event in person in 2020 and 2021, but are grateful to be able to carry it on, hosting online events and continuing the tradition of walking, wheeling or running for the cause.
Help our Heroes and their Families!
You too can take part in this amazing event. Please register to participate in this year's Amputee 5K at AdventistHealthCare.com/Amputee5k
You can also donate today, to help amputees live healthier, fuller lives. 100% of the money raised goes to funding the needs of our patients. Donate Today!