Growing our community is not optional; it’s imperative. It is estimated that, by 2050, the number of Americans living with limb loss will nearly double. As the number of people experiencing amputation grows every day, the Amputee Coalition is the only national nonprofit that serves all individuals in the limb loss and limb difference community. We are dedicated to ensuring that no one faces limb loss alone. In this issue, we feature the theme of “Grow,” and shed light on different ways to grow our community, our impact, our perspectives, and our learning. The global pandemic has challenged us all to move beyond our comfort zones and to grow in new ways.
At the Amputee Coalition, we realize it requires continuous effort to grow our impact and advance our mission. For more than 10 years, we have celebrated Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month and I invite you to join us this April in elevating awareness about the current needs of the limb loss and limb difference community for equitable medical access, care, and coverage. There is power in our collective voice to drive real change for our community.
We grow our perspectives by celebrating the diversity within our community, including the different types and causations of limb loss and limb difference. Among those living with limb loss, the main causes are vascular disease (54%) — including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease — trauma (45%), and cancer (less than 2%). We seek to increase representation and engagement from all these segments in our critical work of transformative change to expand our impact.
We also grow our impact through our advocacy efforts for legislative policies that support our community. We celebrate our recent win from working with co-sponsors of the Triple A Study Act to influence the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to commit to investigating prosthetic coverage. The request was endorsed by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and the GAO’s affirmative response will enable a close examination of insurance coverage and barriers in healthcare access for the 2.1 million Americans impacted by limb loss.
We grow our learning through resources made available through the National Limb Loss Resource Center. Our publications, fact sheets, and guides provide the latest information on living well with limb loss and limb difference. We work to provide vital resources to these individuals, as well as their families and caregivers so they can recover, readjust, and live the life they most want to live. In addition, the annual National Conference is our largest activity designed to reach the community en masse based on our founding principles, including the importance of peer support and elevating expertise only gained through lived experience. I am happy to share the Amputee Coalition 2022 National Conference will be held in person in Palm Desert, California, from August 10-13. Themed “Growing Our Community to Shape the Future,” our conference is the only
patient- and consumer-focused event that creates the opportunity for our community members to interact with a breadth of solutions on the market. During our conference, attendees enjoy interactive learning and networking sessions, engage with vendors, touch, and feel the latest prostheses on the market, and leverage that experience to make informed decisions about their care and needed support. Visit the Amputee Coalition website at amputee-coalition.org for more conference details and to register.
When you visit our website, please also take time to experience our new blog, THRIVE, at blog.amputee-coalition.org. THRIVE features the latest news, updates, events about our community, including daily and weekly updates on legislative and policy news impacting amputees and their families. The latest editions of inMotion are also available to view, offering these print articles in a shareable digital format to help spread the word.
The Spring season is here and is a great time to reflect on ways we can grow now and throughout the year.