By: LuAnn Kleemeyer
Certified Peer Visitor
Support Group Leader
Just like Denise, the Amputee Coalition asked me to share my story in honor of Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month (LLAM). Each story is unique. And every story has the power to connect and help. Denise’s story, my story, and your story can all build awareness and community.
I shouldn’t be here right now. That’s how my story begins. An excavator/bulldozer fell on top of me while I was riding my motorcycle. And, like that, I became an amputee.
There was no warning. There was no time to prepare myself or my family. There was no chance to adapt my job, which required me to cover a sales area five states big. I lost my leg, my job, and my sense of independence.
The first few years are the hardest. I was lucky to have people reach out to me who had something similar happen. The sense of community made me feel less alone.
I first heard about the Amputee Coalition a few years after my accident. I attended the conference in Kansas City that year. And – wow – it was the first time I felt like I was in a village for me. Seeing everyone showing their devices was empowering.
A lot of people don’t have the ability to attend the Amputee Coalition events. I’m lucky enough that I am able to attend conferences, advocacy forums, and complete a college degree!
Not everyone in our community has these kinds of resources. That’s why I am asking you to consider joining me as a supporter of the Amputee Coalition with an LLAM gift of $35 to celebrate the Amputee Coalition’s 35th anniversary this year. They work hard to make sure no one travels the limb loss and limb difference journey alone.
Because the secret is to connect with each other. Whether it is via Zoom Amputee Coalition support group or in-person at conference. Connection, stories, and giving voice to our journey gives each other hope.
I also want to hear from you about the everyday moments in your life where you felt good, or strong, or in pain, or feared the unknown. The moments that mattered to you, might inspire someone else to not give up. You can share your moments that matter via this form or share your story on social media – use the hashtag #LLAM and tag the Amputee Coalition.