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April – Limb Loss Awareness, Education and Empowerment

During the month of April across the United States, amputee support groups, veterans, prosthetists, rehabilitation centers and those with limb loss will be participating in a number of activities in their local areas to raise awareness.

“Limb loss is not uncommon and is becoming less uncommon every day,”  says Susan Stout, Amputee Coalition president & CEO “Many people are unaware of the causes of amputation and often see limb loss in just a few categories: the wounded warrior or the accomplished athlete. The fact is, limb loss affects every generation, from young to old and people from all walks of life. More than 2 million Americans live with limb loss and that number grows by 185,000 each year. “

Many people with limb loss have become mentors and advocates to others, raising public awareness and educating on adaptability, prevention and making yourself heard.  This month we’d like to highlight just a few of these people.

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Dick Traum – Achilles International Founder and Inspiration

In 1965, Dick Traum, 24, was filling his gas tank at a gas station when the car behind him jumped forward and crushed him between the 2 cars.  As a result of his injuries, his right leg had to be amputated.  In 1976,  Dick found himself out of shape and approaching middle age.  He decided to do something about it – he joined a YMCA and began running, small distances at first and building up to miles.  By the end of the year, he became the first amputee to successfully complete the New York City Marathon.

The experience brought a strong sense of achievement and self-esteem. In 1983,  Dick created the Achilles Track Club, now called Achilles International, to give that same life-changing experience to others with disabilities.

“Somehow, I wasn’t upset. When you lose a leg, there’s no ambiguity. You get an artificial leg and keep going.” (IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders)

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Jessica Long – Paralympic Medalist Swimmer

Jessica Long

Jessica Long

Paralympic swimming takes a lot of endurance, experience and strength so when a 12 year old girl brought home 3  gold medals from the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece, the world took notice of her.  Jessica Long, now 24,  has been capturing gold and breaking world records ever since.

Born in Russia, Jessica was born with fibular hemimelia; she didn’t have fibulas, ankles, heels and most of the other bones in her feet.  She was given to an orphanage by her birth parents and at 13 months old, Beth and Steve Long from Maryland, adopted her. At 18 months old, her legs were amputated below the knees so she could be fitted for prosthetic legs and learn how to walk. She was up walking 2 weeks post surgery.

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New Year Inspirations

do-all-the-things-you-are-capable-of-sunshine-prosthetics-and-orthoticsIn this last week of 2014, it’s time to reflect on all we did and all we have ahead of us.  At Sunshine, we’ve knocked down walls and are expanding with some great new services to be revealed.  We’ve added our new 3D Scanner – the latest hi-tech equipment to make scanning quicker and hassle-free for fitting prosthetic and orthotic devices.  We’ve also been certified to custom fit the latest prosthetic limbs like the iWalk PowerFoot Bionic Ankle System and the Ottobock Michelangelo myoelectric prosthetic hand.  It’s an exciting time in the development of new strengths and capabilities in artificial limbs!  We’ve also added a brand new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section to our website and welcome any questions from our visitors.
dont limit  your challenges

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Jason Lester – unstoppable athlete with a mission

Jason Lester running at night

Jason Lester running at night

 

At the age of 12,  Jason Lester was hit by a car while riding his bike, resulting in 21 broken bones, a collapsed lung, and a paralyzed right arm.  His dreams of being a top athlete seemed to be broken as well.  As another strike against him, as he was lying in his hospital bed, his father, who was his sole guardian, died of a heart attack at the young age of 39.

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