This April, we celebrate the 10th Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month (LLAM). It has been a decade since the Amputee Coalition first sought to raise awareness on limb loss through a 30-second video shown in a Times Square billboard. And a lot has happened that improved limb loss awareness in that decade.
However, the mission of LLAM isn't over yet. While more people are aware of the realities of people with limb loss and limb difference, there's still a lot of work to be done to improve the quality of life of many amputees. For starters, we need better rules that will see a decrease in insurance coverage rejections for better prosthetic limbs. Prosthetic technology is getting better each year, and it's such a shame that only a few can enjoy it.
Furthermore, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year has led to an increase in the number of amputations among people with diabetes. Statistics say that a foot ulcer precedes about 85% of lower-limb amputations. We need to spread the word on how to prevent primary and secondary amputations because of chronic disease.
Pre-pandemic data shows that at least 36% of people living with limb loss experience depression. Imagine how the pandemic has affected the quality of life of many. Because of this, we need better coverage for mental health measures, particularly for the limb loss community. If talk therapy isn't available, there are other ways, like better community care. This way, we improve the lives of the limb loss population and the entire community as well.
Despite social distancing measures, you can still advocate for the causes mentioned above and more. We encourage you to join the Amputee Coalition's virtual Advocacy Forum, which will equip us with the knowledge to help us take the right steps to ensure that federal and state laws and policies support amputees' needs. We also advise you to watch out for other advocacy activities on the Amputee Coalition's website so you can help educate lawmakers.
For us at Amputee Store, we'll continue to talk about how amputees can cope with limb loss. We'll continue to bring you the latest in prosthetic technology and research that can help you make educated decisions or better understand the plight of loved ones and friends who are experiencing limb loss. You can share our posts and articles with the people in your circle to help spread the word and further increase awareness.
And as we welcome spring, we also usher in a new ray of hope of the COVID-19 front. More Americans are being vaccinated against the virus, and vaccination campaigns are also underway around the world. As much as our modern society would make us believe that individualism is the best path, our current circumstances show us that we are interconnected. The only way to empower ourselves to live better lives is also to empower others.
In the same way that we encourage you to raise awareness about limb loss and the amputee community's realities, we also invite you to check out covidvaccineproject.org/countmein. There you can read about why people across the US chose to get vaccinated. And if you haven't been vaccinated yet, we encourage you to check your state's or county's health department websites for more information.The past year has been undeniably challenging for many of us, and we can't wait to live in a better and safer world.