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Cass IsidroLet’s Inspire to Elevate Throughout April and Beyond

As we celebrate April as Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month, our theme resonates deeply for our board of directors, staff, and community. This is our signature month to elevate the work we commit to daily. This year, our theme is “Inspire to Elevate” and our activities are built around four elements of that theme: Elevate Your Story, Elevate Your Voice, Elevate Your Community, and Elevate Your Potential.

In a season of great heaviness, change, and new beginnings throughout our nation, I strongly believe we can still find inspiration. If you are like me, you seek new opportunities to grow, evolve, and elevate into these new seasons.

Today, the Amputee Coalition finds itself in new waters but also with a new, vibrant outlook on what is possible as the national organization representing and seeking to serve the more than 2.7 million people living with limb loss and limb difference. In the coming month, we will finish our historic prevalence study and we expect to be sharing that this number has greatly increased. Together, we will all have work to do to address this great need.

Our Amputee Coalition family and community for me is a beacon of light, encouragement, and inspiration as our community continues seeking resources for a better quality of life, reaching back to new community members, and sharing stories that inspire to give hope to us all. We are steadfast in serving the existing community to broaden our engagement by reaffirming and expanding the Amputee Coalition around the nation.

The Amputee Coalition has a new vision, a world where our community thrives, with a mission to support, educate, and advocate for people living with limb loss and limb difference. The board of directors and I have started our strategic planning process, and day to day our staff and volunteers continue building the Amputee Coalition programs, elevating the impactful work being done in our National Limb Loss Resource Center, leveraging strong partners in our Workforce Development Program, solidifying and staying steadfast on our policy impact, engaging critical hospital partners, providing direct services, and continuing exceptional outreach to influence our community.

I have received a warm welcome upon stepping into the president and CEO role as I meet with stakeholders, volunteers, community advocates, and long-term Coalition community members. I see bringing our community together is the inspiration. Community building through our newly launched virtual online community, AC Connect, is the inspiration. Convening our Youth Engagement Program members living with limb loss and limb difference to inspire a shared vision and listening to their stories of triumph is our inspiration. Reimagining our advocacy efforts to expand our reach on the policy that impacts all is the inspiration.

As we are less than 130 days to the 2023 ELEVATE: Together Towards Tomorrow National Conference being held Aug. 2-5 at Renaissance Orlando SeaWorld in Florida, we look forward to the inspiration that will come from a community deciding to keep moving forward, to lean in on one another, and to see our no-amputee-alone tenet in action.

The Inspire to Elevate theme is one we can use daily. Thank you for your dedication to staying connected to the Amputee Coalition, because we are a community of one.

The Amputee Coalition continues to understand the gravity of being the leading organization representing the limb loss and limb difference community. One thing that sets us apart from other disability rights organizations is our recognition of and work toward building awareness around the intersectionality within the limb loss and limb difference community. This is why we continue creating opportunities to partner with grassroots and national partners across the country.

We know our community is stronger than ever as we Inspire to Elevate together. Thank you for your support and belief in the Amputee Coalition, and we look forward to staying connected on AC Connect and being in community on-site in Orlando this August.

Cass Isidro, Amputee Coalition President and CEO