April is National Limb Loss Awareness Month

There are approximately 1.9 million people in the United States with some form of limb loss. It is estimated that one out of every 200 people in the U.S. has had an amputation. Some amputations are the result of injury or disease; others are born with a limb difference. Losing all or part of a limb is a life-changing event that can cause grief and decreased self-esteem. A person with an amputation loses part of his or her physical self and the change in appearance is final. Grieving, therefore, is both normal and expected. In spite of the challenges with amputation, many people with limb loss do adapt to lead normal, productive, happy lives, working, enjoying hobbies, and raising families.

As of February 2013 the U.S. military casualty statistics for Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom state that 1,715 service members that have sustained combat-related major limb amputations, 30% have multiple limb amputations, and 18% have upper limb amputations.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM THE AMPUTEE COALITION

Amputee Coalition Celebrates National Limb Loss Awareness Month

Manassas, VA, March 19, 2013 – Each day, more than 500 Americans lose a limb, largely to vascular-related diseases, and 60 percent are preventable. In an effort to increase awareness about limb loss prevention and about those living with limb loss, in 2011, the Amputee Coalition designated April as National Limb Loss Awareness Month.

This April, amputee support groups, veterans, prosthetists, rehabilitation centers and those with limb loss are gearing up to participate in a number of activities in their local areas to celebrate living well with limb loss.

“It’s important for Americans to know that amputees are not defined by their amputation and that they are living life to the fullest,” said Kendra Calhoun, president and CEO of the Amputee Coalition, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization on limb loss. “What better time than National Limb Loss Awareness Month to celebrate that fact?”

“Many amputees do not consider themselves disabled,” said Bill Nessel, the support group leader of Amputee Connections of Redlands in Redlands, California. “We have successful careers, families and friends, and are involved in all types of activities, including sports and recreation.”

The Amputee Connection of Redlands will be hosting an Open House from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM on April 21, 2013, at Redlands Community Hospital, Wiesser Education Pavilion, 350 Terracina Blvd., Redlands, CA. Everyone seeking information from the amputee community is invited to come by for an afternoon of sharing experiences and knowledge with three support groups. For additional information contact Bill Nessel at (909) 423-0562.

In addition, many in the limb loss community enjoy giving back to the community. Some of them choose to become peer visitors and help others who face or have had amputations. The Amputee Coalition has 1,000 certified peer visitors across the nation and more than 260 local support groups in its national network.

About the Amputee Coalition

The Amputee Coalition, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is “to reach out to and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention.” For more information about limb loss, please call 888/267-5669 or visit the Amputee Coalition Web site at amputee-coalition.org