Tuesday, November 9, 2010 arrived with a clear early morning that promised to become a chilly, sunny, and typically autumn day. I zipped my coat, buckled my helmet strap, unlocked my bike, and headed off to work. A few minutes later, a garbage truck crossed a bike lane to make a right turn. I was in that bike lane. The tires of the truck crushed my left leg and caused other internal injuries. An amazing team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my leg to do so.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Confucius.

In July 2011, I set off to walk a thousand miles as an above-knee amputee in my new prosthesis. The journey has held more twists, turns, and detours than I ever imagined.

I reached Mile 1000 on March 30, 2013.

But of course, that wasn't the end.

I'll keep walking!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Please Help Us Keep Walking

Mile Marker 3050:

Dear friends, family, blog followers, and readers,

How much are your legs WORTH?

How much would you SELL them for?
How much would you PAY to get them back?

Silly questions, maybe.
But for amputees, they're very real.

As you may or may not have heard, Medicare has proposed new changes in their guidelines that, if implemented, will negatively impact amputees across the country.  This is not just my opinion.  It's echoed by prosthetists, prosthetic companies, physical therapists, rehabilitation hospitals, amputee organizations, and many others.  Everyone's concerned.

Since private insurance companies base their coverage on Medicare standards, the effect would be devastating.  It would impact trauma survivors, cancer patients, veterans, children, and anyone else who has lost a limb.

The new rules would restrict access to prosthetic limbs and modern equipment.  They have the potential to send the prosthetic standard of care back to the 1970's.

That's right -- back to the technology that existed before cell phones, home computers, voicemail, and the internet.

Prosthetics have come a long way since then.


But if these new standards are adopted, modern prosthetic components such as carbon fiber feet, feet with integrated shock absorption or rotation, hydraulic knees, microprocessor knees, and gel liners will NO LONGER BE THE STANDARD OF CARE.

Would you like to go running in your Keds from the 70's?

I don't think so.

As an amputee, I can tell you prosthetics are not a luxury.  They are a necessity and a way of life.

I use EVERY ONE of those modern components EVERY DAY.  I'm not talking about swimming, or climbing, or skating, or running.  I'm talking about WALKING.

Getting around should be a right, not a luxury!

The good news is that these changes are still up for public discussion.  While we live in a country where insurance policies often dictate care, we also live in a country where our voices CAN BE HEARD.

I'm thankful for that.

Please help support me and other amputees by signing this online petition to the White House.  It takes only a few minutes and can be signed by anyone -- whether you use a prosthesis or not.

Thank you!
The petition needs 100,000 signatures by the end of August for the White House to act on and respond to it.   I would sign it a thousand times if I could!

Please consider signing.

Click here to sign the White House petition.

You can also copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/rescind-medicare-proposal-restricting-access-prosthetic-limbs-and-returning-amputees-1970s-standards-care

So how much would YOU pay for new legs?


Hopefully you'll never have to find out.

Thank you for standing up for amputees nationwide!

Walk on!
--Rebecca

Click here to watch a great video by Prosthetic Innovations. #NotALuxury

Click here for a more detailed summary of the changes and how they'll affect amputees.

Click here to sign the petition.  Thank you!

5 comments:

  1. Even if it were "only" your opinion, that would be enough to get my attention!

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  2. I signed the petition and will forward the link to my friends. It is horrifying to learn of yet another unethical decision being made. I am thankful that prosthetists are so dedicated and capable in their care of patients. Hopefully our legislators will rise to the occasion and regulate Medicare in the interest of the citizens.

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  3. I signed the petition. I'm sorry that you or anyone with a prosthetic should have to be concerned that one day they may not be able to get the tools necessary to function daily.

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  4. Thanks to everyone who signed. We live in a crazy, insurance-driven world. Sometimes it seems like doctors, prosthetists, therapists, AND patients are all fighting to get what they need! One step at a time; one signature at a time... Having legs is not a luxury. Please spread the word and keep signing! Thank you for all your support!

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  5. "While we live in a country where insurance policies often dictate care, we also live in a country where our voices CAN BE HEARD."

    There was a time when the stakeholders in healthcare were just the doctors and the patients. I hope you are right... fight on!

    I've forwarded this link to the medical society and the AMA as another worthy endeavor needing support for our patients.

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