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Alan Fraser

Smiling With Gratitude Every Day

When I say losing half of both my legs in 2015 at age 55 was the hardest thing I have ever had to cope with, it’s not an exaggeration. I wouldn’t wish limb loss on anyone … not because of any preconceived stigmas, but because it takes a special kind of perseverance and passion to live this life as an amputee. The persistent mental strength required to get up every single day, put on two prostheses, and then do all the everyday things most people take for granted is consistently challenging work. What’s happened for me, though, over time, is that I’ve gone through a journey of transitions. I started from ground zero in despair and slowly grew more resilient each day, each week, and each year. The journey eventually made me stronger and stronger. At some point early on in the journey, I got to the point where I knew that I must completely accept and embrace what had happened to me. If not, I’d never be happy in my life. Now, almost eight years into this limb loss journey, it feels so completely different for me. I love my life now. I’m OK being an amputee. I stand proud and feel just by being visible I represent an entire community of people living with limb loss. I love pushing my boundaries, realizing how strong I really am, and most of all being this confident person again who looks in the mirror and smiles back at what he sees. Losing my legs changed my life in positive ways. By that, I mean it changed me and pushed me to put in the hard work to embrace my limb loss and my new life. I stand up tall now, feeling prouder than I’ve ever felt.

No matter where you are in your life’s journey, as long as you’re still here, you can and will get to a better point if you always just keep moving forward. Small steps become the big changes you’ll look back on in time.