We’re not huge pro basketball fans (although we’d have jumped on the Nuggets’ bandwagon in a heartbeat if Jamaal Murray hadn’t been injured), but this item from the NBA Finals caught our attention. During a break in the action in Game 2 last week in Phoenix, the home team ran a “Show Us Your Shoe” promotion. Everyone in the crowd was prompted to take off a shoe and wave it overhead. Jason Kiernan, a recent below-knee amputee, took off his prosthetic leg with the Nike attached and waved that around. The stunt drew an appreciative response and made Kiernan the winner of the contest, netting him an autograph from Phoenix center DeAndre Ayton and a bit of viral fame on social media.
Still a few months shy of his first ampuversary, Kiernan lost his limb in a motorcycle accident. The favorable reaction to his shoe-sharing took him completely by surprise. “The crowd kind of erupted,” he told a Phoenix TV station, adding: “If it makes people a little more aware [of limb loss], that’s great.”
Onward to the other news of the week:
Egregious insurance denial, part infinity: Without a skin graft on her residual limbs, bilateral below-knee Sarah Wall can’t use her prostheses. Anthem has spent the last year performing all sorts of acrobatics to avoid covering the procedure.
When Donna-Rose Hill lost her prosthesis at the bottom of Parrots Bay in Lake Ontario, it was promptly retrieved by local scuba diver—and fellow amputee—Chris Haslip. “She was doing something that everybody does every day: swimming,” Haslip told the Ottawa Citizen. “I’m glad we were able to get her leg back so she can do it again.”
The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists issued a position paper on 3D printing. Money quote: “All custom orthoses/prostheses, including those fabricated via additive manufacturing/3D printing, should be provided by or in partnership with a certified/licensed orthotist/prosthetist and under the prescription and supervision of a treating medical provider.” Read the whole statement here.
Peak performance, upward bound: Mandy Horvath made history last month by climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. She’s the first woman to reach the peak as a bilateral leg amputee.
Peak performance, downward bound: Also last month, adaptive athletes Vasu Sojitra and Pete McAfee became the (likely) first amputees to ski down Denali. The goal, Sojitra says, was to “showcase and represent the power we as disabled people have when provided access to opportunities and resources.”
After battling an insurer on behalf of a loved one who needed prosthetic care, sibling engineers Eeshan and Vini Tripathii decided it would be easier to design their own device. Their invention is affordable, functional, mind-controlled, and almost ready for market.