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How John Werner Jr. Became a Certified Peer Visitor

Jan 19, 2024 |

When John Werner Jr. retired at the end of 2018, he never could have anticipated what was to come in this next phase of life. Suddenly, he began experiencing intense pain in his ankle, which turned out to be from a severe infection. By March 2019, he had undergone a below knee amputation and was understandably in shock. Marcia Moore shared his story in The Daily Item on 1/14/24 

Part of coping with this new way of life led John to join an online support group as he went through the process of getting his first prosthetic. Through the Amputee Coalition, John received training to become a Certified Peer Visitor and started a monthly in-person group meeting in Pennsylvania in 2023. “It’s a life-changing event,” he said of losing a limb. “I just want people to know they’re not alone.” 

Kierstin Paroli-Bucher, who is an upper-limb amputee, was one of the first people to attend the group and since she has been instrumental in helping to grow attendance.  

Meetings are currently held at 1:00pm on the third Saturday of the month at the Sunbury YMCA in Sunbury, PA.  

“They will find people who are there to support them in anything they want to do; they’ll find help; they’ll find friendship,” Paroli-Bucher said. “It’s a lot different when you’re talking with another amputee. They’ll learn it’s not the end of the world.” 

If you are interested in finding a support group or requesting a peer visit, please visit our Support Groups & Peer Support webpage. To learn more information about becoming a Certified Peer Visitor, visit our CPV page