YOUR VOICE MATTERS: Grow Awareness About Limb Loss and Limb Difference

By Jerrica Thurman

Your Ordinary is ExtraordinaryJoin the Amputee Coalition in celebrating Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month this April. The annual celebration was created to educate others about what it’s like to live with limb loss and limb difference, and this year’s theme is “Your Ordinary is Extraordinary.” The obstacles that people living with limb loss or limb difference must overcome are no easy feats. As they adapt to a new way of living, amputees experience victories daily in simple areas of life.

By approaching each day of life with the fundamental willpower to thrive, our community members champion human strength by persisting. COVID-19 has exacerbated mental, physical, emotional, and social problems for all humans, and while our community members experienced grave setbacks during this time, they still find ways to thrive. It may seem so ordinary as amputees go about their lives, but their ordinary is indeed extraordinary.

Every day, more than 500 people in the U.S. lose a limb, and it is estimated that, by 2050, the number of people living with limb loss will nearly double. Limb loss affects people of all ages, income levels, and backgrounds. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for connection and support has only increased within the limb loss and limb difference community.

As the global pandemic persists in 2022, the Amputee Coalition understands that COVID-19 hits the limb loss and limb difference community hard because of several underlying health issues and factors:

  • Amputation rates during the pandemic have increased as COVID-19 causes dangerous blood clots;
  • Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are significant underlying conditions that put people with limb loss at even higher risk of infection and hospitalization.
  • Forgoing doctor visits during the pandemic has resulted in more patients at-risk for amputation from getting vital preventative health care; and
  • Suicide rates among veterans with limb loss has increased as social isolation, shared by many, take its toll during the pandemic.

The Amputee Coalition is the only national nonprofit organization that serves all individuals who experience limb loss or limb difference. It is critical now more than ever to promote its mission and honor our community.

Ways to Get Involved

Share Your Story. Join our #WeTHRIVE campaign where we look to capture 500 STORIES in April! This unique campaign is encouraging everyone to share with the world what has helped them to remain resilient over this past year. Use #WeTHRIVE to assist in raising awareness of the resilience, strength, and courage that people living with limb loss and limb difference have to transform their ordinary into extraordinary. To participate, any #Amputee can share what they have done to remain resilient and use the hashtag #WeTHRIVE on social media; encouraging others to do the same.

LLAM Awareness Ribbon. Help us raise limb loss and limb difference awareness by wearing or posting our orange #LLAM #LLLDAM #NoAmputeeAlone ribbon. LLAM awareness ribbons are available for free on the Amputee Coalition online store at https://shop.amputee-coalition.org/limb-loss-awareness-month-ribbon-p119.aspx.

Tell Your Governor. The Amputee Coalition is working towards having at least one governor in each state support the healthcare needs of our community members. Learn more about how to get your state to proclaim April as Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month at www.amputee-coalition.org/events-programs/limb-loss-awareness-month/proclamations and tell your local governor about insurance fairness and healthcare rights for individuals and families impacted by limb loss and limb difference. #LLAM #LLLDAM #NoAmputeeAlone

Your LLAM Why. Share with your friends, family, and community why you raise limb loss and limb difference awareness, why you became an Amputee Coalition volunteer, or why you are connected with the Amputee Coalition’s mission. #LLAM #LLLDAM #NoAmputeeAlone

Appointment Awareness. During your next doctor, physical therapist and/or prosthetist appointments, raise awareness by dropping off LLAM materials and awareness ribbons. It is important that medical care teams are educated and have a patient-centered care approach for patients living with limb loss and limb difference.

Wear Orange on Wednesdays. How much orange can you wear on Wednesdays in April?! Post your W.O.W. photos using hashtags #LLAM and #LLLDAM. Amputee Coalition shirts can be purchased on the Amputee Coalition Cafe Press store at https://www.cafepress.com/amputeecoalition/10124085.

LLAM Supporter. You do not have to be an individual living with limb loss or limb difference to support Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. For those who are caregivers for loved ones with limb loss or limb difference, sponsors and donors, or friends or family members of our community, share why you support #LLAM #LLLDAM #NoAmputeeAlone

Amputee Coalition Support App. If you are living with limb loss or limb difference, a family member caring for an individual with limb loss or limb difference, or an Amputee Coalition Certified Peer Visitor, please download the FREE Amputee Coalition Support App from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or https://cpvapp.amputee-coalition.org. If you are already a registered App user, please share how you use the Support App and the links to download it on social media. Please include #LLAM #LLLDAM #NoAmputeeAlone in your posts.