I’m a Survivor.
My name is Denice Chobanov Barsich. On January 23, 1991, as a 35-year-old mother of three small children, I became an amputee. I stopped to help a stranded motorist on a country road, and yes, it was my choice to help. I parked my car by a farmhouse and ran back to help. In a quick minute, another motorist came around the curve and went off the road striking me while I tried to put a piece of cardboard underneath the stranded motorist’s tire. I had a mangled left leg with severe fractures and a RLBK. I know my three children willed me to survive. That began my journey of a new and wonderful life!
The lessons my family and myself have taught people came naturally. I never hide the fact that I am missing pieces and I am an open book when it comes to my life as a handicapped person. It started small when my oldest started preschool, I was there with a walker and no leg. The questions poured out of eight preschool children the first time they saw me. This began my world of public speaking and teaching about the handicapped world. I made it my mission to teach children. My motto is teach the small so they can go home and teach their parents. I worked for over 25 years in my children’s school system and finally retired last year. I was known as Mrs. B. with the cool bionic leg.
No matter where I go and what I do I will get stopped and asked questions about my leg. A 15-minute errand run becomes longer because I get stopped with questions. I will never stop being an open book about being a handicapped person. Life is too short and no matter what I may look like to everyone else, I am a wife of 45 years, a mom to three successful adult children, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a very proud RLBK amputee.
This article is featured in Amputee Coalition’s #WeTHRIVE story campaign to help raise awareness of the resilience, strength, and courage that people living with limb loss and limb difference have to transform their ordinary into extraordinary.