Bjoern Eser - The creator of The Active Amputee
Bjoern Eser - The creator of The Active Amputee

Welcome to

The Active Amputee

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.



What's New?

Guest post by Chaos Cat ⎮ February 28, 2019 ⎮ Inspire & engage

Five pictures and me: Chaos Cat (English version)

In our new series "Five Pictures and Me" people with amputation introduce themselves by sharing their favorite pictures with us. The opening act is by Lisa, who you already know from her article "Choosing an amputation to finally blossom". Lisa loves the new quality of life she won through a voluntary amputation. Due to bone cancer, Lisa was left with a metal implant in her leg, that left her with a stiff knee for 14 years. Through the amputation she said good bye to her old life and enjoys her new mobility and reclaimed her self-confidence - as these powerful pictures clearly illustrate. read more

Guest post by Chaos Cat ⎮ February 28, 2019 ⎮ Inspire & engage

Fünf Bilder und Ich: Chaos Cat (deutsche Version)

In unserer neuen Serie "Fünf Bilder und Ich" stellen Menschen mit Amputation sich vor, indem sie ihre Lieblingsbilder mit uns teilen. Den Auftakt macht Lisa, die ihr schon aus ihrem Artikel "Eine Amputation wählen, um endlich aufzublühen" kennt. Lisa liebt ihre neu gewonnene Lebensqualität durch eine freiwillige Amputation. Durch Knochenkrebs im Kindesalter hatte sie ein Knochenimplantat im Bein von Oberschenkel bis zum Knie. Nach der großen Operation und nachdem mein Krebs geheilt war, blieb ihr Knie 14 Jahre steif. Nun habt sie mit ihrem alten Leben abgeschlossen und hat ihre Mobilität und ihr Selbstbewusstsein wiedergewonnen - wie diese Bilder eindrucksvoll zeigen. read more

Guest post by Andrea Swallow ⎮ February 13, 2019 ⎮ Inspire

Poetry in motion: A letter to the people I encounter when I run

Andrea has been an amputee for 30 years (motorcycle accident) and it is only the last five years that she has taken a very hard look at how she sees herself and how the choices she makes contribute to loving her body as it is. Andrea has always pursued physical activities that bring her joy, that challenge her mentally and physically and she has been lucky to have had some amazing experiences doing it. "When you’ve experienced rock bottom, you tend to seek lightness by conscious choice:)!" Here is a beautiful poem about her journey of acceptance. read more

Guest post by Josephine Bridges ⎮ February 6, 2019 ⎮ Inform & engage

For people with disabilities staring is part of the package

I recently was asked how many people look at me, now I've had the amputation, and it got me laughing. I laughed mostly because I hadn't actually noticed. I'd spent eleven years with a tremendous set of scars on my left leg and a deformed knee which I quite happily displayed in skirts, shorts etc. I also spent a lot of time with sticks or in wheelchairs, all of which garnered a large amount of attention. Staring never really bothered me in the first place, I was always of the mindset that no amount of staring would ever stop me from dressing or being the way I wanted. Whilst they saw me very clearly, I began to see them less and less, until eventually starers became invisible to my eye. read more

Guest post by Wendi Locatelli ⎮ February 1, 2019 ⎮ Inform

The Active Amputee Spring Special - Amputee parenthood part V

In our last article of The Active Amputee’s Spring Special on amputee parenthood we hear from sepsis survivor and quadruple amputee Wendi Locatelli. Wendi talks openly about her physical, mental and emotional challenges. She talks openly about her fears that her children are teased because of their mother’s disability. And she talks about the immense relief of having a husband, a family and wider community to fall on onto, to rely on, to help. read more

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ January 31, 2019 ⎮ Inform

The Active Amputee Spring Special - Amputee parenthood part IV

Yes, there are times when I think that it just sucks being an above-the-knee amputee. Obviously. And often this feeling creeps up on me when I am around my kids. When I want to do things with them and have the feeling that my amputation sets unwanted limits. When the fact that I have an artificial leg seems to dictate what I can and cannot do with them. But while some of this has been annoying for me, it‘s not really an issue for the kids. It never has been. And now, as I am looking back at the last few years and how they have been growing up, I actually think it‘s been good for them to have an amputee dad. Honestly, I think it‘s an advantage. Collateral good, so to speak. Why? Well... read more

Guest post by Linda Olson ⎮ January 30, 2019 ⎮ Inform

The Active Amputee Spring Special - Amputee parenthood part III

Oh no! This can’t be right! I looked at the positive home pregnancy test again. Come on, make that color change some more. I sat still for a while and waited. Pregnancy was not on my list of things to do right now. Nine months earlier I’d lost both legs above the knee and my right arm just below the shoulder in a train vs car accident. I learned to walk with prostheses using a quad cane and was planning to move back to Los Angeles where I would live by myself and finish the last nine months of my Radiology residency. My thump-thud, toy-soldier walk was loud and looked funny but got me where I needed to go. Doing things with one hand was becoming easier. But am I ready for a pregnancy? read more

Guest post by Joana Waterton ⎮ January 29, 2019 ⎮ Inform

The Active Amputee Spring Special - Amputee parenthood part II

Joanna lost her leg in a mountaineering accident. She has what is called a Chopart amputation. That means that she has retained a load- bearing heel bone and heel pad. However, due to a needed shortening her amputation presents as a Symes (which is an amputation through the heel bone). Joanna can walk short distances without a prosthesis. Only a few years after her accident, Joanna is expecting her first child. In this personal article she shares her experience of being pregnant while still getting used to her new life as an amputee. read more

 

Guest post by Jasmin Lindemaier ⎮ January 28, 2019 ⎮ Inform

The Active Amputee Spring Special - Amputee parenthood part I

Today we start with another special. A series of articles dedicated to a one special topic, one specific challenge or one impressive person. And this week it’s all about being an amputee parent. Even without a limb difference, the idea of suddenly being responsible for a child can be daunting. Immense joy is regularly mixed with feelings of fear and being completely overwhelmed. Often even more so if you are an amputee. So throughout the course of this week we hear from four amputees, learning about their thoughts on parenthood. Jasmin, a young women from Germany with an above knee amputation - and a regular contributor to The Active Amputee - kicks-off our Spring Special. read more

Guest post by Anoushé Husain ⎮ January 27, 2019 ⎮ Inspire

Opportunities don't come knocking on your door!

Anoushé has recently been featured in a short film that will run in the "Women In Adventure Film Competition 23019". "Over the summer I went for my first proper outdoor climbing trip. The idea of being so far away from home, in a completely new environment with my health being so erratic was terrifying. It took a lot of planning from two of my amazing friends who took all the variable into account to make my trip as easy as possible. We have captured my trip and the challenges in a small video that’s been submitted for a film festival. We share the barriers and fear ahead of the trip and the challenges I experience during it." read more

Guest post by Tracy Morel ⎮ January 23, 2019 ⎮ Inspire

Opportunities don't come knocking on your door!

When I was asked to do this article I felt I was at a flat point. That I had nothing to say? I feel I've pushed my story so far that perhaps people weren't interested anymore? Than I made a promise to myself and nobody else, that 2019 was going to not just be a good year but a GREAT year! My focus was going to be new and my perspective a little changed! I may not be your typical Active Amputee but I don't let that hold me down! As you can see when you read my story. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ January 20, 2019 ⎮ Inform & inspire

The Living Adaptive Podcast interview with Bjoern Eser

I was recently interviewed by Scott Davidson from The Living Adaptive Podcast. We chatted about a wide range of topics, anything from the importance of accepting difficult times in your life to getting rid of the victim label, from the need to accept the consequences of your decisions to taking responsibility for your own healing journey, from being an amputee dad to my new plans for 2019. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ January 16, 2019 ⎮ Inform & inspire

The Active Amputee 888 me climbing challenge

Welcome back! This is the first post of 2019. This year will be another exciting year for The Active Amputee. Loads of new things in the making. But more about them in another post soon. Let's first take a look at my first big live event of the year where I took on a major climbing challenge. My goal was to climb 111 routes at my local climbing wall, totalling 888 metres. The idea was to draw attention to disability issues, to showcase the amazing feats that someone with an amputation can do and to raise funds for The Active Amputee. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ December 12, 2018 ⎮ Inform

Soon to come: The Active Amputee Sponsored Climb 2019

Christmas is less than two weeks away and 2018 is slowly coming to an end. I will take a little break over the coming weeks. But before I go offline I want to share some exciting news with you. Something about an event I have been working on for some time. read more

 

Guest post by Erin Ball ⎮ December 9, 2018 ⎮ Inform

Amputee Circus Camp 2019

Mark the date: June 24-30th, 2019. That's when Erin will run the amazing Amputee Circus Camp. The camp is open to anyone with a limb difference over the age of 18. It is being held in Kingston, Ontario at Kingston Circus Arts. read more

 

Guest post by Shelley Brook ⎮ December 5, 2018 ⎮ Inform

Paradox Sports - Breaking down barriers

Paradox Sports is trying to break down barriers and make climbing, and the climbing community, accessible to all. Since 2007, Paradox has run transformative adaptive climbing weekend trips in the most iconic climbing destinations in the United States – Yosemite Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Red River Gorge, The Tetons, Ouray Ice Park, and more. These trips have been a place to connect, push limits, and change beliefs about what is possible for people living with a disability. read more

 

Guest post by Access Adventures ⎮ December 2, 2018 ⎮ Inform

Be bold and try out something new

Fancy trying water-skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, biking, kiting or skiing? All suitable for amputees. Access Adventures is a non-profit organisation, aiming to improve the quality of life for people with physical disabilities through organising outdoor adaptive camps. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ December 1, 2018 ⎮ Inform & inspire

Amazing ideas for amazing amputees

Lsess than a month until Christmas. And while this time should be a time of peace and reflection, it's also about... yes, presents. And it seems, this idea of getting something nice for a family member, a friend, a colleague, a neighbor or the guy helping out with the football training in school stresses some people out. To take some of this stress away from you, here is my list of great presents for active amputees. From a free app over great outdoor gear, from a inspiring book to the vouvher for the amputee circus camp. I hope there is something for all off you. And so much more. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 25, 2018 ⎮ Inspire

Inspiration straight from YouTube: Great videos about amputees

Sometimes even the most active of amputees needs a bit of couch potato time. A day off at home. A big mug of steaming coffee. A fire burning in the fire place. And some videos to watch. Here are my top picks for the week. read more

 

Guest post by Sandra Williams and Access2Africa Safaris ⎮ November 21, 2018 ⎮ Inform & inspire

Making the world more accessible for people with disabilities

Fortunately there has been a lot of awareness work focussing on accessible tourism in recent years. On the one hand more and more locations improve their infrastructure and expand their services to make it easier and more enjoyable for people with disabilities. On the other hand there is an increasing number of very experienced tour-operators providing all the hands-on assistance and the local knowledge that is needed to enable people with disabilities to have the time of their life. For today’s article I teamed up with Access2Africa Safaris from South Africa to present one such company and their incredible work. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 18, 2018 ⎮ Inform

Hiking poles: Essential hiking gear for active amputees

People who have been following me - either here on my blog or on Instagram - know that I love being active. I feel even better if I can be active in the great outdoors. This passion for being physically active out in mother nature did not change when I decided that it was time for my leg and me to go separate ways. On the contrary, it actually increased as after almost 20 years of being limited by my endoprosthesis I finally had the feeling that everything was possible again. Being active in the outdoors might need a different approach than before, but suddenly the limit was the sky. Here are some tips. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 14, 2018 ⎮ Inform & inspire

Dani Burt: World adaptive surfing champion, doctor of physical therapy, above knee amputee, motivational speaker

After surviving a motorcycle crash that put her in a long coma, Dani knew her life would never be the same again. She felt lost, confused, hurt and without hope. But her life was not over. It took many unexpected turns and today she is living her dreams. Learn more about her road to recovery and the many ways in which she now gives back and supports people who faced life-changing events. read more

Photo copyright by Michael Bresnan

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 8, 2018 ⎮ Inform

Das Genium X3 im Alltagstest

Im ersten Teil dieses Interviews haben wir Jasmin und Andreas etwas näher kennengelernt. Die beiden haben ihre jeweils ganz persönliche Geschichte mit uns geteilt. Sie haben uns erzählt, was sie in Zukunft noch so vorhaben und welche Ansprüche sie an eine Prothetikversorgung stellen. Andreas und Jasmin testen zur Zeit das überarbeitete Genium X3. Das Gelenk als auch einige andere Passteile wurden den beiden für einige Wochen von Ottobock zur Verfügung gestellt. Heute werden wir mehr von ihnen hören, welche Erfahrungen sie bis jetzt mit dem Knie so gemacht haben. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 8, 2018 ⎮ Inform

First impressions of the new Genium X3

In the first part of this interview we got to know Jasmin and Andreas a bit better. The two of them shared their personal stories with us. They told about their plans for the future and what they expected from a prosthetic device to help them live their dreams. Andreas and Jasmin are currently testing the revised Genium X3. The knee as well as some other parts are provided to them by Ottobock so they can test them for a month. Today we will hear about their experiences so far. read more

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 7, 2018 ⎮ Inform

In den Startlöchern, um das neue Ottobock Genium X3 zu testen

Diese Woche habe ich das Vergnügen, mit Jasmin und Andreas aus Deutschland zu reden. Beide sind oberschenkelamputiert. Beide sind dies noch garnicht so lange. Beide haben vor ihrer Amputation eine lange Kranken-Odyssee hinter sich. Und beide testen zur Zeit das überarbeitete Genium X3 von Otto Bock. Heute möchte ich euch die beiden kurz vorstellen. Und morgen hören wir dann mehr über ihre Erfahrungen mit dem Kniegelenk. read more

 

 

Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 7, 2018 ⎮ Inform

In the starting blocks to test the new Ottobock Genium X3

This week I have the pleasure to talk to Jasmin and Andreas from Germany. Both are above knee amputees. Both haven't been amputated for very long. Both have had a long odyssey before their amputation. And both are currently testing the revised Genium X3 by Ottobock. Today I would like to introduce them to you. And tomorrow we will hear more about their experiences with the micro-processor prosthesis. read more

 

 

Guest post by Michael Woods ⎮ November 4, 2018 ⎮ Inform

The seven pillars of inclusion

It is a fact, in many countries around the world, that some people face disadvantage when it comes to getting involved in sport activities. There are particular subgroups that have nuances and requirements that we need to cater for in order to ensure they can participate fully. So the question is, if we know these challenges exist what do we actually do about it? How do we take action on inclusion in our sport clubs and organisations? How do we talk about it? This post takes you through seven key aspects of inclusion. read more

 

 


Inform

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.

Inspire

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.

Engage

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.