Congress Hopeful Rich Ashooh Visits Next Step with Steve Forbes

During his campaign tour through New Hampshire, Congressional candidate Rich Ashooh stopped by to visit our Manchester office. Ashooh was joined by Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine and a supporter of Ashooh’s bid for Congress. Here are a few photos from their visit.

NH campaign tour
Next Step President Matt Albuquerque gives Congressional candidate Rich Ashooh and supporter Steve Forbes a tour of our Manchester office.

Continue reading “Congress Hopeful Rich Ashooh Visits Next Step with Steve Forbes”

Discussing the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) with Senator Kelly Ayotte

We recently had the opportunity to host a round table event with NH Senator Kelly Ayotte, to discuss the effects of the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) on small businesses. Local business owners attended the discussion, and expressed some concerns about the tax. View a video of this discussion below, which Senator Ayotte’s team highlights the message that “We’ve got to make sure that red tape isn’t making it harder for your employer to offer good health coverage.”  Continue reading “Discussing the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) with Senator Kelly Ayotte”

Surfing – Amputees Making Waves in New England

Think there’s no good surf in New England? Think you need to be able-bodied to balance on a surfboard and ride crashing waves into the shore? Think again!

For the past 3 years, AmpSurf, an adaptive surfing clinic based in Southern California, has helped amputees break through the barrier of riding the waves at York Beach in southern Maine. Participants of all ages have enjoyed the incredible experience of balancing on a surfboard, either on one leg or with their prosthesis, and riding the swells a few hundred feet off-shore.

Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics’ Ian Gray, a prosthetist at our Newton MA location, has paved the way to expand these clinics into New England, and regularly teaches and practices surfing at the AmpSurf clinics scheduled each summer.

According to Ian, “surfing has been called the sport of kings from ancient Hawaii, and you can’t help but feel like a king or queen when you ride a wave. The ocean has the ability to heal in so many ways. The greatest part of adaptive surfing is we can adapt to any disability and get everyone in the water”. The program allows those who are brand new to the sport to learn basic techniques and adapt themselves to riding the surf; while more advanced surfers can challenge themselves to reaching new heights and improving their techniques.

For amputees, there are several options to consider when deciding whether to surf on a prosthetic limb or one leg:

  • Surfing with a prosthetic limb

    • Pros:
      • Easier to balance and maneuver on waves
      • Easier to lean left or right to direct the surfboard
    • Cons:
      • Water may damage mechanical components or hardware if the prosthesis is not waterproof.
      • If the prosthesis were to come loose in the water, it could be lost in the waves.
  • Surfing on one leg

    • Pros:
      • No need to worry about damaging or losing your prosthesis
      • Balancing improves core strength and endurance, thereby improving your overall physical health.
    • Cons:
      • More difficult to balance and maneuver on waves
      • More difficult to lean left or right to direct the surfboard

Recently, a new advancement in prosthetics, the X3 Waterproof Prosthesis, has allowed amputees the full ability to swim, surf, and enjoy the water while wearing their prosthesis, with no worries of damaging the hardware or components. Learn more about this waterproof prosthesis here.

Click here to reserve your space for the upcoming August 9-10 AmpSurf clinics at York Beach, ME; or learn more about AmpSurf and view the complete calendar of upcoming events on their website.

Twice as Strong: Book Signing with JP and Paul Norden

On Friday, June 13th, Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics was proud to host Paul and JP Norden, survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon tragedies, as they hosted a book signing and met with members of the local community and media at our Manchester NH office.

After a morning of radio interviews, the brothers made their way to our office to greet guests and sign copies of their recently published biography, ‘Twice as Strong’. They spent time chatting with attendees and sharing stories; and after the event, JP Norden joined Next Step’s President Matt Albuquerque for a round of golf at the Manchester Country Club.

On the course, we discovered that JP is a tremendous player, and he challenged Matt to a competitive match. After 18 holes, the match ended in a tie; and JP and Paul Norden made time for a second book signing with members of the Manchester Country Club.

All in all, we enjoyed a wonderful day with the local community, and we thank Paul and JP Norden for sharing their personal stories.

To request a copy of Twice as Strong, please visit their website.

NH Governor Maggie Hassan’s Visit to Next Step

Our Manchester, NH office recently had the unique privilege of opening our doors to the Governor’s office, in order for the Governor to observe part of the prosthetic process and for our clients to share their stories and challenges with her. In the overview below, you can get a glimpse into our day with the Governor and learn more about the local prosthetics industry.

Matt Albuquerque, president of Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Inc., led Governor Hassan on a tour of our facility and introduced her to several of our local clients. The tour also showcased bionic and prosthetic technologies and the work that occurs behind-the-scenes in our on-site fabrication lab.

The first client to meet Governor Hassan was Bill Dube, who uses the most advanced iLimb Hand by Touch Bionics called the iLimb Ultra.

Next, Governor Hassan was introduced to Carter, one of our most active and outgoing Next Step Kids. He had the privilege of showing her and her team his extraordinary progress over the years with a lineup of his past prosthetic and orthotic devices.

From there, Governor Hassan met Sean, a veteran and a manager within the Manchester airport’s Transportation Security Administration. Sean received his new waterproof prosthesis with the X3 Microprocessor Knee from Ottobock just a few weeks ago, and he already walks incredibly well on it.

Sean was able to provide the Governor his unique point of view as an amputee veteran, local resident, and working professional, about the challenges that face those returning from war and reentering the workforce after sustaining serious injuries. He shared how technological advancements of prosthetic limbs over recent years have allowed him to transition back to work and live a more fulfilling life.

Lastly, the Governor was introduced to Dick, an amputee veteran who wears the BiOM ankle system. Dick shared with Governor Hassan how his most recent prosthesis has improved the quality of his life as an active amputee. He also offered his perspective on improvements in prosthetic technology and the increased awareness of issues affecting the amputee community.

The Governor wrapped up her visit with a look at our on-site fabrication lab and had the opportunity to converse with Matt Albuquerque about issues facing businesses and healthcare facilities in New Hampshire. We are proud to be a well-established, New Hampshire-based small business, and we depend on the support of our local government and representatives to effectively serve our clients and community. It is an honor to be a resource and an authority on bionics and prosthetics for those in leadership as well.

We had a wonderful time with Governor Hassan and welcome visits from any government officials who wish to learn more about what we do, gaining firsthand insight from our amazing staff and clientele.

Reflections on the 2013 ACA Conference

2013 ACA Conference - Next Step Exhibit

Amputee Coalition National Conference 2013 – Orlando, Florida

A Reflection, by Alexis “Lexy” Morel

My name is Lexy, and I’m 16 years old. I have been an amputee for almost three years. Battling cancer and becoming an amputee gave me a different view about life, and thanks to my recent participation in the Amputee Coalition’s National Conference I now have a new prospective on life as an amputee as well. Being with all the amputees at the conference gave me a sense of comfort and closure, just from talking to them about their stories and their legs. Continue reading “Reflections on the 2013 ACA Conference”