Every day in the US, an average of 507 people undergo amputation surgery; more than 600 children are amputated every year due to a lawn-mower incident, and a foot ulcer precedes 85 percent of lower-limb amputations. At the rate we’re going, it is projected that the number of amputees in the US will rise to 3.6 million by the year 2050.
So many people in the country and around the world are living with limb loss, yet it’s easy for many amputees to feel isolated, alone, and misunderstood. This is mainly due to lack of awareness about limb loss in the general community and even sometimes lack of empathy within amputee support groups. This is why we, at Amputee Store, celebrate Limb Loss Awareness Month every April.
One of the significant issues many amputees struggle with is the fact that health care costs more, and insurance coverage is, more often than not, not enough. In a lifetime, an amputee can shell out an average of $509,275 in health care compared to $361,200 for people without limb loss. Limb Loss Awareness Month provides amputees a platform to combine their voices in fighting for health care rights.
The awareness initiative also provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate the diverse backgrounds and stories of millions of people who live with limb loss. These stories are just as different as the people: they highlight numerous accomplishments, prevention tips, as well as inspiration.
This month provides the perfect opportunity to educate the public about what it’s like to live with limb loss: the struggles, challenges, opportunities, and victories. This discussion can take place on social media or in local communities.
Most of all, the amplified voices that can be heard on various channels can help amputees arrive at self-acceptance and break down the barriers of isolation whether online or in real life. Limb Loss Awareness Month has also proven to be a great time to connect with oneself, an endeavor that may not be easy to achieve amid the chaos of life.
An initiative that began nine years ago has helped the amputee community make great strides towards a better quality of life. Limb Loss Awareness Month has proven to be a refuge for many, and this is reason enough for us to keep celebrating it year after year.
Do you celebrate Limb Loss Awareness Month? What do you do to celebrate? Please let us know in the comments section below.