I am Bjoern Eser, the creator of The Active Amputee. I am a father of three amazing children, a husband to an equally amazing wife, a thankful cancer survivor, an outdoor enthusiast, a passionate development practitioner and a very active above-the-knee amputee.
I have set up The Active Amputee as a resource page from amputees for amputees. It aims to inform, it aims to inspire and it aims to engage. Nothing more and nothing less. It‘s as simple as that.
At the moment The Active Amputee publishes a new post once a week.
Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don‘t miss any new articles, get additional information beyond what is published on this side and learn about upcoming events and opportunities to get engaged.
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 13, 2019 ⎮ Inform &
Prothesengemeinschaft - A new amputee community in Germany
As you all know I am great believer in the power of communities and in the value of connecting people - both locally and in person as well as globally through the world wide web. And so I was very excited when I recently discovered something new. Something I would like to bring to your attention. This something is a new community called Prothesengemeinschaft (which roughly translates into Community of Prostheses - a word play which works far better in German than it does in English. But I guess you get what it’s all about!). The core piece of this new community is an app and the shakers and makers behind it run a weekly podcast. read more
Guest post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ October 30, 2019 ⎮ Inspire
Five pictures and me: Andrew Gregory
In our series "Five Pictures and Me" people with amputation introduce themselves by sharing their favorite pictures with us. Today: Andrew Gregory - below knee amputee, pole dancer, artist, model and the gold medal winner at the recent International Pole Sports Federation world championships. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ October 23, 2019 ⎮ Inform
Testing the OttoBock 3R80 Knee
Throwback to earlier this summer: After almost six years it was time to say goodbye to my old prosthetic knee and start thinking about a new one. With the lifespan of my old prosthesis slowly coming to an end I had the rare opportunity for a new - maybe waterproof - leg. An opportunity not to be missed. An opportunity to think about my needs as an active user, to get advice from a trusted prosthetist, to chat with other amputees and potentially try out different models to see what works best for me. read more
Guest post by Rebecca Legon ⎮ September 30, 2019 ⎮
Attempting a new world record: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest, and the world’s tallest, freestanding mountain. It is crowned with an everlasting snow-cap. The landscape is extreme with uneven, uphill terrain and an unpredictable weather system. It is not for the faint-hearted. Up to 50% of climbers suffer from altitude sickness. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, or “Kili” to those who have dared it, is an incredible achievement for the able-bodied. For Damian Harper and Rebecca Legon, this is a monstrously courageous challenge. But it is not the first that these two inspiring amputees have faced during their lives. read more
Guest post by Daicy Luo ⎮ September 25, 2019 ⎮ Engage
Your chance to inform future policy and practice
I am a great fan of evidence-based action. No matter if you are trying to influence policies affecting the lives of people with disabilities or if you want to push research and development efforts for better prosthetic equipment - it all depends on sound data and reliable information. So every once in a while I team up with researchers, academic institutions, campaigners and representatives from the industry and support their research initiatives to inform future policy and improve current practice. Today I would like to invite you to participate in the ‚Physical Activity and Adaptive Sports Equipment for Assessment in Quality of Life in Amputees’ research project by Daicy Luo. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ September 22, 2019 ⎮ Inform
I owe you an apology
Mea culpa. The Active Amputee has been hibernating. It’s been ten weeks since the last article went live. That feels like a long long time in which this page has been dormant. Similarly my social media accounts have been rather unimpressive (read hardly any new postings and long delays in responding to your questions). And some of you asked me if The Active Amputee had closed it doors and fell silent for good. The answer is: No! The Active Amputee is still alive and kicking. So why the long silence? read more
Guest post by Caroline Mohr ⎮ July 03, 2019 ⎮ Inform &
Five pictures and me: Caroline Mohr
In our series "Five Pictures and Me" people with amputation introduce themselves by sharing their favorite pictures with us. Today: Caroline Mohr - an amputee on a mission is to awake others to their true light of their soul. Caroline is a speaker, coach, former Golfpro, yogi, schoolsponsor in South Africa and so much more. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ June 30, 2019 ⎮ Inform
The Active Amputee Podcast is available now
Finally! The Active Amputee Podcast is finally up and running. This new monthly show from amputees for amputees is now available on iTunes, Spotify and or where ever you listen to your favorite podcasts. The first three episodes are already available now while more are in the making and will be aired over the coming months. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ June 26, 2019 ⎮ Inform
Making informed decisions is key to an active life style
Most lower limb amputees know this problem: Finding the right prosthetic knee is not an easy task. For most of us it means working out the right compromise between our day to day needs, our spare time interests and our ambitions for the next couple of years on the one hand and our health insurance plan and financial means on the other hand. This in itself is already rather complex. Things get even more complicated if we take into account that even the best of knees can only unfold its full potential if mounted under a well-fitting socket, combined with a good foot that suits our activity level. Here are some tips and how to go about choosing the right prosthetic device for you. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ June 12, 2019 ⎮ Inform
Kayaking as a lower limb amputee
Summer is here. And with it come endless opportunities for being active in, on and around the water. While water sports are generally great fun, they are especially well suited for lower limb amputees: They offer the added advantage of the water carrying most of our weight. An advantage not to be underestimated for many amputees. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ June 5, 2019 ⎮ Inform
Life hack: Dealing with volume fluctuations in your residual limb
Here is a problem many active above knee amputees know all too well. A problem that is often overlooked as more and more attention is given to the newest developments around high-tech knees and other exciting advancements in the prosthetic sector. It’s the problem of a proper fit of the socket. It’s the key to using your prosthetic leg to its full potential. And how to deal with fluctuations in the volume of your residual limb - and thus with the fit of your socket. Here is a simple way to deal with this issue. read more
Guest post by Jason Mercado ⎮ May 29, 2019
Every warrior matters
Diego Mercado was born as a congenital Amputee with the absence of his right Tibia and a deformation of his right hand. However, this has never stopped him from being an average kid with above average dreams. Diego always wanted to be a soldier, just like his Father Jason who has served in the US Army all of Diego's life. "The challenges were probably more difficult for us as parents because we were always compelled to run to our baby whenever he stumbled and fell. It was heartbreaking watching all of the other kids stare or point at him.“ said Jason. But every time he fell, he learned how to get up and eventually he learned how to be proud of his limb difference. read more
Guest post by Erin Ball ⎮ May 26, 2019 ⎮ Inspire
Five piuctures and me: Erin Ball
Losing both legs is a major challenge for any person. Even more so when you are a circus artist. Erin Ball struggled hard until embracing her new reality led to a fireworks of creativity. Her amputations are now an integral part of her show. And through her teaching and coaching Erin has opened up the circus world for many others with disabilities. Get to know more about Erin through this month's edition of 'Five Pictures and Me'. read more
Picture by Kaylens Photography
Guest post by Steven Medeiros ⎮ May 22, 2019
Living mindfully and with a purpose - one step at a time
The twenty-five mile flight to San Francisco with the uncertainty of death was all consuming. This uncertainty while confined to my hospital bed forced me to analyze my life up until that point. Had I been living up to my potential? If given a second chance what would I do differently? Often times with tragedy as such one may come to a cross road, either by taking the route of self-pity and giving up or realizing all the opportunities a second chance on life can afford, and using that as the fuel to move forward and do something great. For me self-pity was never an option. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ May 19, 2019 ⎮ Inform
Riding a kick scooter: Three lessons learnt so far
As mentioned in an earlier post, I recently started riding a kick scooter. Nothing fancy, just an ordinary kids scooter I found when de-cluttering out garden shed. Fortunately my - often clumsy - attempts to master the art of riding a scooter coincided with the period in which I am testing the OttoBock Genius X3. This gives me the opportunity to use various pre-programmed modes for the knee and see which one works best for me in a variety of different terrains. And while I haven’t spent a lot of time on the scooter yet, it’s time for sharing some of my initial lessons. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ May 15, 2019 ⎮ Inform &
Let our differences be the new normal
Identify your next goal, think about possible ways to get there, break them down into doable chunks and just give it a go. Strongly believe that you can do it. Forget about norms and expectations, about the so-called normal. Be proud of your difference as it’s these differences that make this world such a colourful and awesome place. And you will see: A door opens to a completely new world way beyond your wildest imaginations. Here are three videos of people who defy expectations and celebrate their differences. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ May 12, 2019 ⎮ Inform
Kick scooters: Pleasures from the time of my childhood
A new month. And with this new month there is another opportunity to start something new. Something that has been on my mind for quite a long time. And something that I enjoyed as a kid. Riding a kick bike. Yes, this simple two-wheeler that promises fun and action in abundance. read more
Guest post by Kristina DeJesus ⎮ May 8, 2019
The beginning of my amputee journey
On October 7, 2017, Kristina was on vacation in Austin, Texas. She was involved in a boat accident when she went through the propeller and had my entire right arm severed in the water. According to the surgeon who later attended to her, she should have been dead in four minutes. But with the help of friends, strangers, and her nursing experience she managed to survive. And she even works as a nurse again. Today she reflects on her first year as an amputee. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ May 1, 2019 ⎮ Inform
Preparing for the next big amputee outdoor adventure
The days are getting longer, the nights less chilly and nature is in transformation. Fresh green grass covers the hills, the shrubs and trees have started to blossom and with a few days off over Easter this sounds like the perfect opportunity to head back into the hills. This time with my little son, who has been asking for weeks when we would finally take our tent out into the wild. „Well, Jonah, Easter it is and we are off for a few nights out in the tent!“ Some quality time with my son while preparing for my next big adventure. Sounds like a definite win/win situation to me. read more
In the inform section, you will find information about a range of issues amputees regularly have to deal with. Expect issues ranging from handling phantom pain to new developments in the prosthetic sector, from being an amputee parent to finding the right prosthetic cover etc. Anything that helps to make informed choices and make life as an amputee easier.
In the inspire section, you will find exciting stories from other amputees. Expect travel reports and biographies from amputee adventurers, interviews with people who took on special challenges and stories about creative approaches to live a rewarding life as an amputee.
In the engage section, you will find information about special events for amputees, opportunities to try out something new, links to other organisations, information about support options and funding - and invitations to take part in one of the regular The Active Amputee challenges.
This page is made by amputees. And it is made for amputees and their families. The Active Amputee wants to enable you to make informed decisions by providing unbiased information. The Active Amputee wants to inspire action through the sharing of stories. And the Active Amputee wants to build a community of active amputees by encouraging engagement and mutual support. Nothing more, nothing less. It‘s as easy and simple as that.
The people involved in The Active Amputee love to hear from you. Give us feedback about this page, send in your stories so that we can share them with others, let us know about events that are of interest for amputees, suggest topics you would like to read more about, ask questions. Really, anything that relates to amputee issues is of interest for The Active Amputee and could be featured on this side. Here is the contact form.