inMotion Magazine

September | October 2019 14 By Dan Ignaszewski People living with limb loss/difference often face questions from the broader community and everyday strangers. What happened to you? What challenges have you faced? What have you overcome? How does your device work? What was recovery like? Can you share your story? Some people might be more open than others to answer these types of unsolicited questions from the general public, but it’s important to understand what these questions and answers to these types of questions can mean when it comes to advocating for yourself and for the community. After launching in 2017, the Amputee Coalition had an opportunity to gather and share individual stories to impact policy issues impacting people living with limb loss/ difference. By going to and sharing your story and experience about living with limb loss/difference and in getting access to appropriate care, we found an opportunity to elevate individual stories to collectively say: Enough is enough. While some individuals may have hit a few bumps in the road in getting the care they need to live the life they want, the Amputee Coalition’s resource center, peer support program, and advocacy efforts have repeatedly heard over the years from community members fighting appeals and denials or being restricted in access to care by cost, coverage, quantity or technology. provides a unique voice to elevate individual appeals and denials with insurance companies and with state and federally elected officials. These template letters make the case for the need to ensure access to appropriate care through insurance, but they also provide an opportunity for individuals to share their stories. Another aspect of the platform allows people to expand on these individual conversations and provide a collective opportunity to elevate what the community at large experiences and what impact access to care has had or can have on people’s lives. These stories are added to the site and aggregated as the Amputee Coalition elevates these issues to policy makers. Answering questions like those above about your experience helps open the door to a greater understanding of the community’s experience. If you’ve experienced an amputation, think about life before your amputation – what did you know about what it might be like to live with AMPLIFY YOURSELF THROUGH