A great BIG Thank You to everyone who has supported my campaign so far. I'd like to extend a special thanks to the staff at Seal Press who have been so generous as well as my friendly neighbors in the Columbia neighborhood!
So far we have raised enough for about three and a half legs. I am determined to raise enough money for 100 people to get a new leg.
When I received my first leg I was fortunate; I didn't have to live on crutches for years before getting a leg. Each time I get a new leg there's a similar feeling: relief and gratefulness that something so simple can drastically change my life. Some people who know me and the challenges I've had getting a good fitting leg the past three years ask why I don't just use crutches and forget the leg. Are you kidding?
My aging body has taught me one thing well. Each part of our body is there for a reason. Take one part away and the rest of the body has to compensate. And in that compensation we pay a price. If I were to use crutches for many years I would suffer the ramifications: arthritis, tendinitis, or bursitis would likely develop in my hands, wrists or shoulders. Besides, using crutches is damned inconvenient.
I think of people in developing countries who have to carry water or a baby or firewood without wearing a prosthetic leg. Many simply can't because of the physical difficulty which means they aren't contributing members of their families or their communities. The satisfaction that comes from being an active community member can't be found in a credit card. It's found in the leg that carries them through the streets of their village.
People are pretty much the same everywhere. When we see someone who's different, we can't help but look. Even I do it. When I get stared at on crutches, the looks are far different than the looks I get when I'm wearing a prosthetic leg. It's the difference between separation and connection; it's the difference between pity and admiration. When I wear my prosthetic leg in public, I'm a part of the two-legged world. When I use crutches, I'm apart from that world. I'm always going to be looked at as different - I AM different. That's OK with me. Just let me stay connected.
I want to make sure that 100 people feel like contributing members of their communities and feel connected to their world.