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 12, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Amazing climbing, great atmosphere - The BMC Paraclimb Series 2017
Today hardly any text, just pictures.This was the third leg of this year‘s paraclimbing series. There is one more event this year. December 10, 2017 in Newcastle. Come and join us. It‘s great fun. read more
Post by Anoushé Husain ⎮ November 08, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Let's learn to look beyond what we can see
Building on her two recent articles on The Active Amputee, Anoushé Husain explores the challenges people with invisible disabilities face in their day to day lives. She builds a strong argument for finally creating those badly needed safe spaces that allow honest, constructive and healthy conversations. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 05, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Turning obstacles into tasks that need to be solved
A weekend in late October, the weather forecasts announces sun all day and a clear blue sky, I have someone to take care of the kids and some people who want to go climbing outdoors - what a great opportunity to finally approach my first multi-pitch climb. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 01, 2017 ⎮ Inspire and inform
Combining your passions for the outdoors with a good cause
My work often brings me to countries in the tropics. Sometimes just for a few weeks. Sometimes for years. And while a high-tech knee is a great plus when it comes to being active and mobile, they soon hit their limits when water, sand, mud and rice paddies are involved. A simple backup option is needed. And often this can be done locally. As it was in my case, in Timor Leste back in 2009. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ October 29, 2017 ⎮ Inspire and inform
Rob Jones Journey - Month of Marathons
Two weeks ago I stumbled across a BBC headline about Rob Jones, a retired US Marines veteran who lost both his legs during deployment in Afghanistan. In October and November, Rob will run 31 marathons in just 31 days. Besides raising awareness regarding the struggles many war veterans face, Rob aims to raise 1,000,000 US$ for charities supporting wounded veterans. read more
(photo courtesy of Rob Jones)
Guest post by Fay Keegan ⎮ October 25, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Is it ok to ask about limb differences?
For a moment imagine four-limbed people are a minority group in the world. Walking out your front door every day you can’t help wondering how many people might ask you ‘How come you’ve got four limbs?’ Sounds crazy, right? Sometimes it can feel like that for amputees. Here are five tips for asking about limb differences. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ October 22, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
15 amazing amputee Instagram accounts
There are plenty of accounts from amputees on Instagram. Some of them really amazing, inspirational in so many ways. Here is my top 15 of personal accounts. Each of these stories resonates with me. All of them have moved me in one way or another, left a deep and lasting impression or motivated me to try something new. So I thought I share them with you. Have a look. They are amazing. read more
Guest post by Chaos.Cat ⎮ October 18, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Choosing to amputate to finally blossom
Chaos.Cat survived bone cancer when she was a child. But it left her trapped in a body which she never felt at ease with. After years that were marked by sadness and frustration, she took the brace decision to have her leg amputated. This, so she thought, would enable her to start a new life, open up new possibilities and finally allow her to be who she always wanted to be. And it did. Read her story - both in the German original and the English translation.
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ October 15, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Updates from amputees you met here before
The Active Amputee has been up and running for a good six months now. And over the months, some amazing people shared their stories on the blog. This week‘s weekend edition follows up on some of them, giving you updates on what they are currently up to. read more
Guest post by Crystal Chigbu ⎮ October 11, 2017 ⎮ Inform
The IREDE Foundation: Addressing basic needs and social stigma
When her daughter was born without a tibia and knee cap, Crystal Chigbu initially felt lost for the lack of information and support. Channeling her frustration into something good, she set up The IREDE Foundation inspired the set-up of The IREDE Foundation to support amputees and their families directly while also educating the general public. So far they have reached out to 100,000 Nigerians and supported more than five dozen amputees with artificial limbs. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ October 8, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Paraclimbing in the Peak District
Kat Sizer from PACE Rehab teamed up with Belinda Fuller and Robin O‘Leary, the two coaches of the British Paraclimbing Team, to offer amputees an opportunity to have a go at outdoor climbing. So on October 6, 2017, eight amputees met at Stanage Edge in the UK's Peak District. Some of them have been climbing for years, others were novices to this sport. With plenty of world class grit stone, with the sun out, with great coaching and a very supportive environment, all of us had an amazing day. read more
Guest post by Aristotle Domingo ⎮ October 4, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
The finish line is only the beginning
Aristotle Domingo, also known as Todd to his family, friends, and social media followers, has never understood the meaning of “limits.” After surviving septicemia in 2001, Todd lived with peroneal nerve injury (foot drop) until his recent left below-knee amputation in 2017. He spent 16 years battling infection, pain, and other medical issues due to complications. But he managed a speedy recovery from his recent amputation surgery to participating in his first 5K race. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ September 27, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Birthday special: Living my life to the fullest! Loving it! Appreciating it!
Back in April when I launched The Active Amputee, I kicked off with a series of articles called ,My Journey To Losing My Leg‘ describing the long battle between first being diagnosed with cancer in the mid-1980s to finally making the decision to have my leg amputated in late 2005. A lot has happened since. And as many people asked how the journey continued, here are some snapshots what my life is all about. read more
Guest post by Fernando Costa Jr. ⎮ September 20, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Democratising access to prosthetic covers
Today we are continuing our mini series on prosthetic leg covers. Fernando Costa Jr. from ID Ethnos is talking about the Confetti, a project that aims to make stylish covers more affordable. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ September 13, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Paraclimbing Special: Pictures from the first round
„Open to all aspiring paraclimbers, the British Mountaineering Council and Climb Scotland Paraclimbing Series is a friendly competition aimed at giving people an authentic competitive experience.“ That‘s what it says on the BMC‘s homepage. And here are some impressions from this amazing event. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ September 7, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Paraclimbing Special: Counting down the days
The first paraclimbing competition is just two days away. If you have a chance, come and be there at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena on Saturday, September 9. You won‘t be disappointed. Amazing climbing, a great atmosphere and loads of inspiration by people who have overcome immense challenges in their lives. Join us for the day. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ September 6, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Paraclimbing Special: How to commemorate the anniversary of an amputation
Throw back to 2015. Some time during the summer I was browsing the internet. And by coincidence I stumbled across an article about the British Paraclimb Series. As I had been climbing for some time - on and off, nothing regular - the article caught my interest. „On Saturday, September 19, the British Paraclimbing Series is kicking off“, so it said. The first round was to be in Edinburgh. And while it‘s quite a long drive to get up there, I new right away that I wanted to be there for this event. It would be a special gift to myself to celebrate my 10th anniversary as an amputee. September 19, 2005 was the last day I walked - or better limbed - around this planet on two legs. A day later I had my left leg amputated and started a new chapter in my life. read more
Guest post by @an.awakened:amputee ⎮ August 30, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
My five proudest moments of being an amputee
For today‘s guest blogger, 27 years of being an amputee has been a never ending journey of pushing her mind, her body and soul to be the best it can be. And she sure has done a lot of things to be proud of. Here is her top five. read more read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ August 23, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Celebrating amputations and de-stigmatising disability
I recently published a short overview over various companies producing prosthetic covers, allowing people with amputations to express their individual style through the look of their artificial limbs. As several people expressed an interest to learn more about the choices amputees now have, I decided to run a mini-series over the coming months, showcasing some of the companies producing these stunning covers. And we kick off this series with an interview with McCauley Wanner from the ALLELES design studio in Victoria/Canada. read more
(model: Michelle Salt, photo courtesy of ALLELES and Eric Chu)
Guest post by Yoav Gaon⎮ August 16, 2017 ⎮ Engage
Discover yoocan, an empowerment site for people with disabilities
When Erez Gaon was born with a rare disease and complex cognitive and physical disabilities, the family felt initially overwhelmed and lost. They began an emotionally challenging journey that brought the family closer together as they developed their very own ways of dealing with each and every day anew. Motivated by his very personal experiences Erez‘ father Yoav co-founded yoocan, a site to empower people with disabilities. Over the years yoocan has grown into one of the leading resource pages providing a wide rage of information and allowing people with disabilities to share their stories. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser⎮ August 9, 2017 ⎮ Inform
In a kayak, being an above-the-knee amputee is not an issue
Summer is here. And with it endless opportunities for being active in the water. Water sports are generally great fun and they are well suited for lower limb amputees as they offer the added advantage of the water carrying most of our weight. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, surfing - all of these activities are great fun and well worth a try. Even more so as they often allow you a completely new perspective on this beautiful planet of ours. There is a whole new world often just a few feet below the surface of the ocean. Feeling the force of a wave carrying you back to shore is a humbling experience. And any coast looks completely different when seen from a kayak. read more
We are currently building up a resource archive for our main categories. They will go live in September. Until then please bear with us.
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.