Limb loss affects people of all income levels, ages, and backgrounds. Currently, over 2.1 million Americans are living with limb loss or limb difference, while another 28 million are at risk for amputation. More than 500 people lose a limb in the U.S. every day, and by 2050, it is estimated that the number of people living with limb loss will nearly double. There is a need to do more in terms of educating the public and ensuring that amputees all over the country get the support and care they need.
This year, for Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month (LLLDAM), the Amputee Coalition seeks to highlight the daily challenges and victories encountered by amputees in simple areas of life with the theme “Your Ordinary Is Extraordinary.” LLLDAM also aims to support measures advancing fair insurance coverage, medical access, and care.
Although COVID-19 has worsened all humans’ social, emotional, physical, and mental problems, and many amputees have experienced heavy setbacks during this trying time, the limb loss and limb difference community still finds ways to thrive. Their ordinary is extraordinary in every way.
This April, we encourage you to spread the word about your or your loved ones’ ordinary but extraordinary lives. Here are some ways you can celebrate and spread awareness about the limb loss and limb difference community:
Familiarize Yourself With The Communications Toolkit
Amputee Coalition has prepared various brand assets that you can share on social media. You can share facts about the limb loss and limb difference community to educate the public further or share your or your loved one’s story. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #WeThrive, #LLLDAM, and #NoAmputeeAlone.
Contact Your Governor
LLLDAM presents an opportunity to educate your state’s officials and the public on the experiences of amputees. We want to invite you to join the ACA campaign to contact every state’s governor to ask them to acknowledge April as Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month through a formal proclamation.
So far, the following governors have already issued a formal proclamation for 2022:
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin
Colorado Governor Jared Polis
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
Missouri Governor Mike Parson
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers
Get Yourself LLLDAM Apparel
If you’d like to take your awareness campaign to the streets or everywhere you go, you might consider getting LLLDAM-themed shirts, baseball caps, car magnets, reusable grocery bags, and even baby bodysuits. Besides sparking curiosity about the cause in those you meet, you also get to support Amputee Coalition’s services to people affected by limb loss and limb difference. A portion of your purchase goes to supporting the organization’s activities.
Do LLLDAM Daily Dares
Help spread awareness for the limb loss and limb difference community by completing as many THRIVE Daily Dares as you can throughout the month. Some of the challenges include wearing orange on Wednesdays, sharing with your friends and family how you THRIVE with your limb loss or difference, and fundraising.
Share Your Story
Amputee Coalition also has the #WeTHRIVE campaign, where the goal is to gather as many as 500 stories in April. The campaign aims to encourage the limb loss and limb difference community and family and friends to share what helped them remain resilient over the past year. Check out the mechanics of the campaign here.
Organize A Fundraiser
You can organize a mini fundraiser to support the Amputee Coalition’s mission to empower people affected by limb loss and limb difference to achieve their full potential. Not only will the donations you raise benefit Amputee Coalition’s mission, but it will also help bring more attention to the limb loss and limb difference community.
Join Educational Webinars
Various webinars are scheduled throughout the month, with topics related to amputation and living with limb loss and limb difference, from sepsis and physical activity to technology and advocacy.
Join Advocacy Forums
This year’s activities will be three one-hour events addressing new online-led advocacy training, grassroots advocacy program, and diabetes-related prevention. You can participate for free by registering here.
Learn More About the Amputee Coalition Support App
The Amputee Coalition has launched an app to help you or a loved one connect with a Certified Peer Visitor (CPV). This online tool makes staying connected and feeling supported in your amputee journey easier. The Amputee Coalition Support App makes it easier for individuals and families to get the opportunity to meet with someone with limb loss or limb difference who can be a good listener and offer encouragement as well as advice.For more information about the limb loss and limb difference community, check out THRIVE resources.