Amputee Veteran Trains to Become A Firefighter

Amputee Veteran Trains to Become A Firefighter

I always thought it was a long shot for me to be in the fire department.   There wasn’t many times in my life that I felt pity for myself or felt that I couldn’t do something but in that context of having to put myself socially back into society as well as physically,  I didn’t know how that would work.   That’s when I said,  ‘you’re gonna try this.   I haven’t done anything yet that I haven’t been able to do.  I can do anything that anybody else can do.  I just have to find a different way to do it  sometimes.’  Continue reading “Amputee Veteran Trains to Become A Firefighter”

Summer Camps for Kids with Disabilities

amputee kids summer campIt may be only March when the snow and cold temperatures make fun in the sun seem far away, but registrations are already flowing into area summer camps. If you are a parent of an amputee child, you may have never even considered sending your child to camp. You (naturally) worry about a new environment, new acquaintances, and new challenges away from home. Did you know there special summer camps and summer programs for amputee kids? In addition to exclusive camps for kids with disabilities, there are organizations that provide day or weekend programs and activities, as well as special learning experiences. These camps and organizations do an incredible job of providing inclusive activities for children of all abilities.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best in New England. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Continue reading “Summer Camps for Kids with Disabilities”

Your Child Has Fibular Hemimelia; What Now?

Fibular HemimeliaYou’ve just had your ultrasound, and the doctor delivers the sobering news that your child will be born with a condition called fibular hemimelia. Fibular hemimelia, the shortening or absence of the fibula, one of the two lower leg bones along with the tibia, is a non-genetic condition (when it does not occur with birth defects in other limbs) that leads to limb length differences, foot deformities, and knee ligament problems, among others. If your child has fibular hemimelia, you know you have an important decision to make – should you commit you and your child to a course of treatment designed to lengthen the affected limb, or do you amputate? The question of limb lengthening vs. amputation is critical, not only for your child’s physical, but for their emotional wellness. Do you pursue the final course of amputation or do you try to “save” the affected limb first? Continue reading “Your Child Has Fibular Hemimelia; What Now?”

Leave It on the Ice – Amputee Hockey

Amputee HockeyThere is nothing like the sheer competitiveness and exhilaration of hockey, or being a hockey player. No other sport comes close to it – combining the ease of gliding and lightning-fast passes with the heart-pumping percussion of body checks and slamming against the boards.  Where else would you see fans cheering the sweaty player in the penalty box or raucously sharing in the adrenaline of a gloves-off fight on the ice? No wonder hockey players wear their scars proudly as badges of honor. Once hockey is in your blood, it is there to stay; once a hockey player, always a hockey player. Continue reading “Leave It on the Ice – Amputee Hockey”

Shred It!

Amputee SnowboardingThe exhilaration of carving up a slope, air, shredding – if snowboarding was part of your life before you lost a limb, what now?  What once seemed so natural might now look like a nearly impossible task. How will you keep a prosthetic leg in place while rushing down a hill at over 20 miles an hour? How will your limb difference affect your balance? What if you are a double amputee? There’s good news. Amputee snowboarding is not only possible, you can be as competitive as your drive and ability take you. If you missed this video in our earlier post, check out this amputee snowboarder for some inspiration. Continue reading “Shred It!”

Born with Fibular Hemimelia, Breeanna Has No Limitations

I was born with Fibular Hemimelia and it’s a congenital limb absence. What that means for me is that I was born without a fibula. There are a variety of different manifestations of the congenital limb absence, but for me, what happens is that I have no fibula and I was born with only three toes. Continue reading “Born with Fibular Hemimelia, Breeanna Has No Limitations”

Are Your Snow Legs Ready?

Amputee AthleticsFrozen lakes, snow covered mountains, woods transformed into a frosted wonderland – what are you waiting for? We’re well into the winter season in New England and it’s time to get outside and seize the snow!  Whether you are a novice or an expert athlete, a prosthetic limb (or two) should be the last thing holding you back from doing what you love. Winter sports for amputees have come a long way as have the quality and fit of prostheses. In fact, many amputees are pleasantly surprised when they find they can participate in the same activities they enjoyed before at an intensity only limited by their individual drive and desire.  Whether you want to ski, skate, snowshoe, play sled hockey, or tackle any other winter sport, a little knowledge and proper preparation can put you on the fast track to winter fun. With the right fit and the proper equipment and training, you’ll navigate the snow, ice, and those crazy inclines with ease. (Want some inspiration? Check out the way this snowboarder masters the slopes.)

Here are just a few of our favorite winter sports along with tips and links on how to get training and support to take you to the next level. For more information, download our free guide to competing in adaptive sportsContinue reading “Are Your Snow Legs Ready?”

Veteran Amputee Speaks About Transitioning to the Civilian World

I’m definitely in a different mental mindset now than I was prior to the start of my fire training.  If you don’t realize that there are clear lines between military life and civilian life and you’re still constantly chasing that high of being in combat, you’re going to find yourself very unsatisfied with almost everything you do.  Continue reading “Veteran Amputee Speaks About Transitioning to the Civilian World”

Resources to Serve Disabled Veterans

Disabled VeteransYou’ve served, sacrificed, and conquered challenges that seemed insurmountable. You’re ready for that fresh start and new roadblocks emerge. How do you navigate the equipment, transportation, educational, and business challenges ahead? You need resources and have no idea where to start.  Grants for disabled veterans, as well as other resources, can be hard to find, as they come from numerous and diverse organizations – everything from federal, state, local, and corporate to nonprofits.  Continue reading “Resources to Serve Disabled Veterans”

Amputee Veteran Firefighter Talks About Overcoming Doubts

Most of the struggles that I encountered in this process at the beginning, whether it’s people wondering if prosthetics would be able to hold up to the physical rigors of the job and the heat resistance, ultimately comes down to this, my real legs are not heat resistant.  So if I were to be in a situation where something was to happen with fire I would prefer it to be with a fake leg anyway.   It was a lot of people asking me ‘how are you going to do this?” I don’t know if they had doubts but I knew that I didn’t have doubts.  That I’d be able to to keep up with the other people in the class without the disability that I have. I remember one day I heard an instructor yelling at one of the other students: “What the heck is wrong with you? There’s a firefighter here with one leg that’s kicking your ass.” It’s things like that that are nice to hear.  Lets you know that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.  That you’re up to par with everybody else. Continue reading “Amputee Veteran Firefighter Talks About Overcoming Doubts”