Confetti Prosthetic Leg Cover by ID ETHNOS.

Making prosthetic covers affordable is the aim of a joint venture between ID Ethnos and FURF Design Studios (photo courtesy of ID Ethnos)
Making prosthetic covers affordable is the aim of a joint venture between ID Ethnos and FURF Design Studios (photo courtesy of ID Ethnos)

Covers Are A Great Way To Personalise Your Prosthesis

I recently published a short overview over various companies producing prosthetic covers (you find the full article here), pointing out how the recent developments in 3D printing allow people with amputations to express their individual style through by choosing the look of their artificial limbs. I then ran an interview with McCauley Wanner from the ALLELES design studio in Victoria/Canada (you find the full interview here). This mini series about prosthetic covers is continuing today with a post by the Brazilian company ID Ethnos. 

 

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Paraclimbing Special - Pictures from the event

The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena provided a fantastic setting for the  opening competition of the 2017 Paraclimb Series
The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena provided a fantastic setting for the opening competition of the 2017 Paraclimb Series

The New Season Is Officially Opened

„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.

 

The series is made up of four events and aims to give people with a disability  an opportunity to have a go at climbing in the competitive environment. It‘s a great format to try out something new, to meet other climbers with a handicap of one sort or another and to see some amazing climbing at a very high level. 

 

The first event took place at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena in Ratho last week end. Here are some impressions fro the day.

 

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Paraclimbing Special - Videos from last year‘s series

Quadruple amputee Jamie Andrew during the opening competition of the 2015 Paraclimb Series in Edinburgh.
Quadruple amputee Jamie Andrew during the opening competition of the 2015 Paraclimb Series in Edinburgh.

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. More information can be found here. 

 

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Paraclimbing Special - Edinburgh 2015

One of the longer routes of the Paraclimb event in Edinburgh in 2015.
One of the longer routes of the Paraclimb event in Edinburgh in 2015.

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 Mountaineering Council‘s/Mountain Council of Scotland‘s Paraclimbing Series is kicking off“, so it said. The first round was to be in the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. 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.

 

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My five proudest moments of being an amputee

"Not trying to fit the abled-bodied world was the key, allowing me to became the person I was meant to be." (picture courtesy of @an.awakened.amputee)
"Not trying to fit the abled-bodied world was the key, allowing me to became the person I was meant to be." (picture courtesy of @an.awakened.amputee)

"After 20 Years I Accepted My Amputation And Became The Person I Was Meant To Be"

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. So no wonder she can't wait to see what the next 27 years have in store for her. 

 

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Amazing prosthetic covers by ALLELES

ALLELES model and University of Victoria fine arts student Emery Vanderburgh with her ALLELES prosthetic cover (photo courtesy of The ALLELES Design Studio)
ALLELES model and University of Victoria fine arts student Emery Vanderburgh with her ALLELES prosthetic cover (photo courtesy of The ALLELES Design Studio)

Celebrating Amputations And De-Stigmatising Disability

I recently published a short overview over various companies producing prosthetic covers (you find the full article here), pointing out how the recent developments in 3D printing allow 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 we amputees now have, I decided to run a series of articles over the coming months, showcasing some of the companies developing and producing these stunning covers. And we kick off this series with an interview with McCauley Wanner from the ALLELES design studio in Victoria/Canada. 

 

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yoocan, the world’s leading empowerment site for people with disabilities

The Gaon family (picture by Jonathan Bloom, courtesy of YOOCAN)
The Gaon family (picture by Jonathan Bloom, courtesy of YOOCAN)

People Grow With Their Challenges

My name is Yoav Gaon and I am one of the co-founders of yoocan. Yoocan is the world’s leading empowerment site for people with disabilities. In 2008, my son Erez was born with a rare disease and complex cognitive and physical disabilities. This was the beginning of an emotionally challenging journey for me, Ruthi my wife, and our family. It brought us together in many ways, but it was hard as we needed to adjust to a new way of living. Over the years we have come to do that in our own unique ways. Erez has certain limitations, but they have definitely not prevented him from living life to the fullest!

 

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Sea kayaking in Pembrokeshire

Playing in the surf along the Welsh coast
Playing in the surf along the Welsh coast

In A Kayak Being An Above-The-Knee Amputee Is Not An Issue

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.

 

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Awkward situations are part of the game, but discrimination is a different matter

Anoushe Husain learned early on about the impact discrimination can have on a person (picture by Sophie Tenn, courtesy of Anoushé Husain)
Anoushe Husain learned early on about the impact discrimination can have on a person (picture by Sophie Tenn, courtesy of Anoushé Husain)

„How One Instance Of Discrimination Changed My Life"

Anoushe Husain was born missing her right arm below the elbow, is living with multiple health conditions, is a cancer survivor, a Muslim and coming from an ethnic minority. She has never let what society or culture thinks she should do limit her or dictate the direction of her life. She is constantly breaking the mould and challenging not only her own beliefs about her own potential but also that of society and her own culture. In her last post we got to know her and her story. Today she tells us about how one instance of discrimination impacted on her life.

  

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One arm, two arms? It doesn't matter. Parkour is all about moving efficiently in your environment

James Rudge in action: His sport is all about moving efficiently and effectively in any given environment (picture courtesy of James Rudge)
James Rudge in action: His sport is all about moving efficiently and effectively in any given environment (picture courtesy of James Rudge)

Having Only One Arm Is All I've Ever Known

Okay so obviously I'm not an amputee. I was born without the lower part of my left arm and just as someone with two hands would learn to use two hands I have learned to use one. It‘s all I've ever known and therefore I wouldn't allow myself to be phased by any tasks that someone with two hands might achieve.

 

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One step at a time

Byron Bay Lighthouse - The first landmark in Fay's long journey to recovery (picture courtesy of Fay Keegan)
Byron Bay Lighthouse - The first landmark in Fay's long journey to recovery (picture courtesy of Fay Keegan)

Tough Choices Are Needed To Allow A New Beginning

Fay Keegan was only eleven years old when she was involved in a train accident that crushed her foot. After more than four decades in which she battled feelings of denial, anger, grief and loss, Fay decided to say goodbye to her foot and start anew. Read all about her long journey in an article that was first published in Great Walks, October–November 2014.

 

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Summer events for amputees

Bjoern Eser during the ParaClimb series in Edinburgh
Bjoern Eser during the ParaClimb series in Edinburgh

Be Active, Get Involved, Try Out Something New

No more excuses not to be active as an amputee. There are plenty of opportunities for amputees to be active, to get involved and try out something new this summer. Besides the big events for professionals, there are more and more taster sessions for amputees offering a safe and encouraging environment to have a go at a new activity.

  

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Three time cancer survivor Michael Robbert Brans takes on the Unbreakable challenge

Michaelrobbert Brans and his team during The Unbreakable challenge (picture taken by The Unbreakable, courtesy of Michael Robbert Brans)
Michaelrobbert Brans and his team during The Unbreakable challenge (picture taken by The Unbreakable, courtesy of Michael Robbert Brans)

An Unforgettable Team Experience

You want to make yourself stronger, improve your adaptability and raise your stress threshold? Yes, but how can that be done in a safe and dosed manner? Who has the right expertise and experience to help you with this? Not only physically, but especially mentally and emotionally? Three time cancer survivor Michael Robbert Brans found the right challenge for himself: The Unbreakable.

 

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Pimp my prosthesis

A prosthesis does not have to look dull and boring. Those days are over.
A prosthesis does not have to look dull and boring. Those days are over.

The Days Of Ugly Artificial Limbs Are Over - If You Want It

I guess most of you still remember the days when artificial limbs - generally speaking - were ugly. Designed for function, not for style. They were off the shelf models with a standard look. While many prosthetists offered some sort of cover or another, more often than not they tried to imitate the look of the remaining limb. And often, very often, it wasn‘t even a good imitation. 

 

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Tony Memmel - One-armed guitar player

Though born without a left forearm, Tony Memmel taught himself to play the guitar (pictures courtesy of Tony Memmel)
Though born without a left forearm, Tony Memmel taught himself to play the guitar (pictures courtesy of Tony Memmel)

The Guitar Player Without A Left Forearm

Though he was born without a left forearm and hand, Tony Memmel taught himself to play the guitar by building a homemade cast out of Gorilla Tape that secures a guitar pick to his arm, and allows him to pluck and strum the strings.

  

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Amputee pregnancy

Embracing a pregnancy shortly after losing a limb can be a major challenge. But one that is manageable, as Joanna tells us.
Embracing a pregnancy shortly after losing a limb can be a major challenge. But one that is manageable, as Joanna tells us.

My Pregnancy As An Amputee

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.

  

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Mountain hiking as an amputee

Surrounded by stunning scenery - Angelina in the outdoors (picture courtesy of Nick Martinson from Boundless Journey)
Surrounded by stunning scenery - Angelina in the outdoors (picture courtesy of Nick Martinson from Boundless Journey)

I Can Do Anything I Set My Mind To

Daily activities can be a little bit challenging when you’re missing a leg. Now add the weight of a pack, and varying elevations on uneven terrain out in the mountains and you are definitely going to see how not graceful I am. But so what? This post is going to talk about how to get outdoors and see these beautiful places even as an amputee.

 

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A cancer survivor's dream of becoming a Paralympian

Surviving bone cancer and overcoming his drug addiction, Liam Twomey trains hard to become a Paralympian (picture courtesy of Liam Twomey)
Surviving bone cancer and overcoming his drug addiction, Liam Twomey trains hard to become a Paralympian (picture courtesy of Liam Twomey)

I Stopped Being A Victim And That Made All The Difference

My name is Liam Twomey. I am a 23 year old from Melbourne/Australia. I grew up in a great family with my Mum, Dad and older brother. It was all great until I was diagnosed with a Ewing sarcoma in my right tibia when I was age seven. My life was turned upside down, although at that age I was still quite unaware of what was happening. I wasn’t able to see the severity of my situation and what was to come.

 

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"What matters is how I choose to live my life."

Anoushe Husain learned that leaving her comfort zone has been the best decision of her life (picture courtesy of Anoushé Husain)
Anoushe Husain learned that leaving her comfort zone has been the best decision of her life (picture courtesy of Anoushé Husain)

Learning That Barriers Can Be Overcome

I’m a woman, born missing my right arm below the elbow, a Muslim and have a few invisible health issues. None of that matters. What matters is how I choose to live my life.

  

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Inclusion 2.0 - amputee bitmojis

Hedgehog1171 creates bitmojis for people with limb differences (picture courtesy of hedgehog1171).
Hedgehog1171 creates bitmojis for people with limb differences (picture courtesy of hedgehog1171).

Inclusion Happens In Many Different Forms

April was Limb Loss Awareness Month. And it was the month that more and more bitmojis for people with limb differences started showing up. Hedgehog1171, as he is known on Instagram and other social media platforms, is one of the creators of a variety of the small icons. A student from Wales, hedgehog1171 has just posted picture #100 on his feed. And he was so kind to send us a few to use on The Active Amputee. Thanks! 

 

 

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Cycling as an amputee

Stumps and Cranks - An Introduction to amputee Cycling is a great book packed with hands-on advice (picture courtesy of the publisher)
Stumps and Cranks - An Introduction to amputee Cycling is a great book packed with hands-on advice (picture courtesy of the publisher)

Review of 'Stumps And Cranks - An Introduction To Amputee Cycling'

You are an amputee? You think about getting into cycling? But you just don‘t know how to start? Maybe you are even a bit fearful that as an amputee cycling is now off-limits for you? Well, then Sonia Sanghani‘s Stumps and Cranks - An Introduction to Amputee Cycling is just the right book for you. 

 

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From bomb blast survivor to disability rights activist

Malvika Iyer, a passionate disability rights activist with an immense spirit and an almost unbreakable will (picture courtesy of Malvika Iyer)
Malvika Iyer, a passionate disability rights activist with an immense spirit and an almost unbreakable will (picture courtesy of Malvika Iyer)

The Accident Has Brought Out The Very Best In Me

During a recent visit to India, a friend of mine mentioned Malvika Iyer. A bomb blast survivor in her teens, Malvika is now a well-known motivational speaker and disability rights activist. He offered to introduce me to her and shortly afterwards I had the pleasure to get to know her during a phone interview. Right from the moment our Skype connection was live, I felt that Malvika is someone with an immense spirit and an almost unbreakable will. Here is her inspirational story.

   

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Amputees United - Let's hold hands together

Adenike, founder of Amputees United, commits her endless energy to assist amputees on their journey to recovery (photo courtesy of Adenike Oyetunde)
Adenike, founder of Amputees United, commits her endless energy to assist amputees on their journey to recovery (photo courtesy of Adenike Oyetunde)

Let's Hold Hands Together

Adenike Oyetunde is a lawyer and radio presenter from Nigeria‘s economic and cultural powerhouse Lagos. She lost one of her legs due to bone cancer when she was in her early twenties. Adenike, always full of ideas, recently founded Amputees United, an initiative to assist cancer patients and amputees. "I want to help them wade through the storm, because honestly, I went through this, that I may help them on their journey. We at the Amputees United Initiative would love to help them come to terms with their new reality."

  

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Erin the double amputee circus artist

Erin, a Canadian circus artist, unleashed a fireworks of creativity by embracing her new life as a double amputee (photo Bryce Murdoch, curtesy of Erin Ball)
Erin, a Canadian circus artist, unleashed a fireworks of creativity by embracing her new life as a double amputee (photo Bryce Murdoch, curtesy of Erin Ball)

Aspects Of An Absence Of Appendages; Adaptive Amputee Actualities

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.

 

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The search for the Holy Grail

First steps to a new socket: Making a cast, then building a test socket around it.
First steps to a new socket: Making a cast, then building a test socket around it.

It's All About The Connections!

Our constant focus on the latest prosthetic developments coupled with our aspirations to get the latest high-end products on the market lets us forget one important aspect: The prosthesis is only as good as the system by which it is connected to the human body. 

   

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April is Limb Loss Awareness Month

Bjoern Eser (left) and Rob Williams (right) on top of Mt. Ramelau in Timor Leste
Bjoern Eser (left) and Rob Williams (right) on top of Mt. Ramelau in Timor Leste

Awareness-Building Needs To Happen On All Fronts

Raising awareness about people with limb differences and the issues they are struggling with needs to happen on all fronts. And all of us can play a role in it.

  

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Dealing with stump pain

Joanna Waterton (left) during the 2016 BMC Paraclimbing Series in Newcastle
Joanna Waterton (left) during the 2016 BMC Paraclimbing Series in Newcastle

You Need To Find Your Own Way To Deal With Stump Pain

Joanna describes her very own ways of dealing with stump pain. Chemical painkillers are only a last resort.

 

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3 reasons why it's cool to have an amputee dad

Three reasons why it's cool to have an amputee dad
Three reasons why it's cool to have an amputee dad

The Benefits Of Growing Up Around An Amputee

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 (three lovely kids, the youngest one is almost five, the other two are eleven and fourteen). 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. 

 

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My journey to losing my leg - Part III

After a year of battling an infection, it was time to say goodbye to the leg and move on
After a year of battling an infection, it was time to say goodbye to the leg and move on

More Trouble Ahead

Part I of my journey was all about my cancer year; the year from the diagnosis with an osteosarcoma through the major surgery to remove almost all of my tibia and replace it with an endoprosthesis to the end of the chemotherapy.

 

Part II was all about my road to recovery; several inter-connected journeys that allowed me to get fit again and regain confidence in what I can physically do. During this time I had spent longer stretches in the United States of America, in South Africa and in Uganda.

 

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My journey to losing my leg - Part II

For me recovery was a number of inter-connected journeys
For me recovery was a number of inter-connected journeys

Roads To Recovery

Part I of my journey was all about my cancer year; the year from the diagnosis with an osteosarcoma through the major surgery to remove almost all of my tibia and replace it with an endoprosthesis to the end of the chemotherapy. Today‘s story is all about my road to recovery. 

 

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My journey to losing my leg - Part I

My journey to be an amputee has been a long one, in several stages, drawn out over almost two decades.
My journey to be an amputee has been a long one, in several stages, drawn out over almost two decades.

It All Started With Bone Cancer

My journey to being an amputee has been a long one, in several stages, drawn out over almost two decades. In this first part, read about how it all began: A bit of pain in the knee, a cancer diagnosis, a year-long fight.

 

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