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.
Guest post by Richard Lamb ⎮ February 14, 2018 ⎮ Inform
Life coaching and
Richard's journey really began on February 24, 2001, on the icy slopes of Ben Nevis in Scotland. He luckily survived a winter mountaineering fall from an exposed route called Tower Ridge, which tragically killed his climbing partner. After a night out in the cold Richard was left with significantly disabling, and life-long, injuries. This experience and the physical injuries set him on a new path forward based on an awareness of these imposed limitations and the opportunities for growth. And that's when his journey began. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ February 11, 2018 ⎮ Inform
Club in the UK opens in Edinburgh
Good news from Edinburgh. Below the knee amputee Keith Lynch has set up a climbing club especially for people with disabilities. The Scottish Paraclimbing Club is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom providing opportunities for people with additional support needs to get involved in climbing and progress in the sport. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ February 7, 2018 ⎮ Inspire
Of natural and man-made disasters
In my line of work I travel a lot. Between 2009 and 2015 I regularly visited Nepal. Ever since my childhood I wanted to travel in the Himalayas. One of the first adventure books I ever read was by Alexandra David-Néel, a French woman who traveled to the then forbidden city of Lhasa in Tibet in the 1920s. And while I never made it to Tibet, I developed a special love for Nepal and its people. After a break of several years I soon will have the chance to go back and visit Kathmandu and its surroundings once more. And to get into the right mood, I want to share one of the stories from my last trip to Nepal. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ February 4, 2018 ⎮ Inform & Inspire
World Cancer Day: Thankful and celebrating to be a survivor
Today is World Cancer Day. A gentle reminder not to take anything for granted, not even life itself. A gentle reminder to celebrate that you are a survivor. A gentle reminder to be thankful for all those people along the journey, who were there when you needed them most. read more
Guest post by Aurélie Loeac ⎮ January 31, 2018 ⎮ Inform & inspire
Aurélie, the wheelchair using globetrotter
Aurélie used to work in the law industry but she caught the travel bug a few years ago. Since then she tries to be on the road as often as possible, backpacking with her wheelchair and reporting on accessibility. Aurélie runs the beautiful website I Wheel Travel, which is bursting with inspiration and advice for other travelers with a disability. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ January 28, 2018 ⎮ Inform
Gear review: The ADK climbing foot
Climbing is a great sport. And there is no reason why people with a limb difference shouldn‘t give it a try. I have been climbing for a couple of years now and I tried a variety of set-ups for my prosthesis; i.e. completely without any artificial limb (no socket, no knee, no foot, no nothing) and with the C-Leg (but with my normal day-to-day foot) before settling on the ADK climbing foot. The ADK foot is a rather unspectacular piece of gear but it works surprisingly well for me. It‘s a simple construction that I mount directly underneath my socket. And while the foot has a few issues I would like to change, I am generally satisfied with it. read more
Guest post by Jenna Rivera ⎮ January 24, 2018 ⎮ Inspire
The opposite of suicide: Finding gratitude and grace in life
Over the Christmas break I finally had some time to reach out to other amputees exploring who might be interested in sharing his or her story on The Active Amputee. One of the people I contacted was Jenna Rivera. I wanted to learn more about how she uses yoga and meditation in her recovery process. And right after my initial lines went through, I got a first reply. Which read: „Hello Bjoern! Did you sent this because of the mail I set earlier? Because I shared my story with you earlier for you to share on your site.“ No, I hadn‘t seen her mail. What an amazing coincidence. A bit of serendipity to start the new year. So I opened my inbox and this is what I found. Jenna‘s amazing story. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ January 21, 2018 ⎮ Inform
The survey results are in, the new ideas are about to take off
The Active Amputee took a month off and this is the first post in the new year. I am back with plenty of new ideas to keep The Active Amputee interesting, informative and fun to read. As you might remember I ran a little survey towards the end of last year. The first one of its kind on the page. And it was quite exciting to see the results coming in; the first ones within minutes after I published the post and had the link up on Instagram and co. What I learned will help me to create more valuable content for the blog. Here are some of what I learned. And some of the new ideas that sprang from your feedback. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ December 17, 2017 ⎮ Inform
End of the year survey - Getting to know you better
2017 is slowly coming to an end. The Active Amputee will take a few days off over the Christmas season. This short break will provide me with the time I need to work on a few new ideas, to reach out to more people and organisations and invite them to share their stories on this page and to develop a few new features for the site. In order to make The Active Amputee even more interesting for you, it would be great if I could learn a bit more about you, your needs and interests. I would highly appreciate if you take a few minutes and take this short survey. It‘s just a few simple questions that will help me to create more exciting content. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ December 13, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Time to say "Thank You!"
In early April of this year, I started The Actice Amputee as a resource page for amputees and their families. My initial ideas was to inform amputees about anything from dealing with phantom pain to new developments in the prosthetic sector. I wanted to inspire them by sharing the stories of other amputees and what they are up to. And I wanted to encourage amputees to be active and try out new things. Nothing less, nothing more. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ December 10, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Final event of this year's British Paraclimbng Series
Yesterday saw the last competition of the 2017 British Paraclimbing Series. And what a glorious final to this year‘s series it was. Thanks to everybody involved. Putting on four excellent competitions and drawing in so many gifted climbers is not an easy feat. read more
Guest post by Rebecca Sellar ⎮ December 6, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Discovering wheelchair tennis
Rebecca, a 25 year old below-knee amputee from Scotland loves coaching and playing tennis, took part in this year‘s paraclimbing series and recently competed for Scotland in a national debut match against the Netherlands. And all that when only a few years ago she did not consider herself a sporty person. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ December 3, 2017 ⎮ Inform & Inspire
New videos by The English Federation of Disability Sport: Me, being active!
Today - that is December 3, 2017 - is the International Day for Disabled People. The The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) has just released a new collection of short inspirational films. The mini series is called „Me, Being Active“. Anoushé Husain who you have met here before features in one of the videos, explaining how being active is key to her lifestyle and comes with immense benefits for her overall wellbeing. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 29, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Those dreadful security checks
As you all know, I am an amputee. I am active. I travel. Actually I travel a lot. For the last 20odd years I have visited, lived and worked in more than 30 countries, sometimes only for a few days, sometimes for several years. I have lived next to a tropical and worked in war zones. I had beautiful encounters with amazing people all over the world. And I had horrible experiences, often when you least expect them. And looking back I don‘t want to miss a single one of these experiences. They made made me who I am today. Well, thinking about it, one thing I wouldn‘t miss for a second are security checks at airports. While they often make good stories afterwards, I generally find them at least annoying, often dreadful, sometimes outright humiliating. Here are some of my experiences from recent years. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 26, 2017 ⎮ Inform
Reel Rock 12 Film Tour: "Stumped" featuring Maureen Beck
Today I want to recommend a new climbing movie to you. “Stumped” featuring Maureen Beck. Maureen may have been born missing her lower left arm, but that hasn't stopped her from going hard. She pushes her “stump” to the limit, takes whippers on 5.12, and crushes overhanging boulders, while shotgunning beers between burns. She certainly isn’t making excuses for herself though, ”I don’t want to just be a good one armed climber,” says Beck. “I want to be a good climber.” So if you have the chance the watch this movie, go and do so. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 22, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Hiking along the Long Mynd in the Shropshire Hills
With sea kayaking not being an option for this week end, I opted for an early morning walk in the Shropshire Hills. The Long Mynd just to the west of Church Stretton is one of my favourite walking areas around here. The weather forecast warned about morning mist and fog - which sounded good to me. The hills in Shropshire offer stunning views. No doubts about that. But when autumn is setting in and the weather gets colder and wetter, that‘s when the area shows a rougher kind of beauty. That means less people out and about. That‘s when I really enjoy the walks out there. read more
Post by Bjoern Eser ⎮ November 15, 2017 ⎮ Inspire
Hiking the Bavarian Alps to regain confidence
What a day. I am just back from the Neue Traunsteiner Hütte - a mountain hut at the boarder between Germany and Austria - using the Wachterlsteig. And I am not yet sure whether I actually enjoyed the walk itself or not. But I am sure that I am immensely proud of myself. And for good reasons as this hike was incredibly important to help me regain my confidence. read more
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.
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.