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#WeTHRIVE Stories

These articles are 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. 

Ely Colmenares

Ely Colmenares

Ever since I was little, I knew I was different because I was missing a part of me. However, that never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. Growing up, I had to adapt to life. My parents let me be independent. I taught myself how to tie my shoes, put my hair...

Darren Lyons

Darren Lyons

"Did you lose your legs in the war?" This question came from my young, energetic Uber Driver as he folded my Rollator carefully and placed it in his trunk of his vehicle. I must admit that it was the best question I had ever been asked about my missing legs. The war,...

David Martin

David Martin

Strong2Finish 2 Tim 4:7  In 2018 my life changed forever. I became an ABK (above-knee amputee) on my left leg due to a flesh-eating bacteria caused by a wound that the doctor didn’t care for. I have come a long way and I am very blessed to be in the amputee community....

Hillary Sussman

Hillary Sussman

Adventures of Roxy Inclusive Book Series: Teaching Limb Difference Awareness & Kindness My name is Hillary Sussman, I have been a physical therapist for over 24 years and I just published the Adventures of Roxy book series over the past year. This journey has been...

Faith Rickard

Faith Rickard

My name is Faith and my amputee journey is short, right now. The other road on my journey started in 2018. My husband had a major temporal lobe stroke. This affected his speech, language and memory. He lost 12 years of his life, which included my daughter and myself....

Debra Hartley

Debra Hartley

In June of 2021 I developed an occlusion in the left leg and then needed a bypass. I now have a silk self learning knee and learning to walk after being in a wheelchair for 2 years. I am going to conquer this challenge!!  

Liz Zemke

Liz Zemke

Being a nurse with an amputation has its challenges, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. For 27 years I have been positively reinforced and blessed by helping other amputees through their journey. The people I've met and the friends I have made because of...

Vicky Brown

Vicky Brown

I was in a horrific fatal boat accident on July 4th, 2015, and had to have my right (dominant) arm amputated above the elbow. When I woke up in the hospital with my surgeon telling me my arm could not be saved, and even though that moment felt so surreal, I was...

Kathryn Stenger 

Kathryn Stenger 

I had a knee replacement surgery in 2011 and 2013 they had to put a spacer in in 2019 they had to do a two-step revision but forgot to put me on antibiotics, so they had to do it again the next year. In 2022 I was in the hospital when I had endocarditis and an...

Steve Osborn 

Steve Osborn 

I have had an above the knee amputation since 2011. I lost my leg due to a motorcycle accident which also took the life of my wife of 42 years. I never set limitations and when I hear "you can't" I take that as a challenge. I am 71 years old and highly active.

Wayne Hamilton 

Wayne Hamilton 

I'm an unusual man. I was born with arguably the worst case of congenital bilateral club feet in the US. I was ranked in the top 2% severity in the world, so I was already playing against a stacked deck. I've spent most of my life beating the odds. Mom was told that...

Rome Leykin

Rome Leykin

With hard practice and relentless forward positive momentum, I am walking hands free, without any assistive devices, in my prosthetic C-Leg4s. I was run over by a subway in 2018, losing both my legs above the knee in the process. And sustaining a TBI. Through it all,...