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 ⎮ 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.
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
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.