The Amputee Coalition scored a big win on Capitol Hill this week, as the House Appropriations Committee added $200,000 to its annual appropriation for the National Limb Loss Resource Center. It’s too soon to start spending the money—the legislation still has to clear both houses of Congress, so there’s always a chance the funding could get bargained away in negotiations. If it survives, the extra revenue will enable the NLLRC to expand its comprehensive library of educational materials about limb loss, serve more amputees with one-on-one counseling, and develop new products to support the limb-loss community. Take 60 seconds to make your voice heard and fill out the Amputee Coalition’s letter of support. Let your representatives know this money is important.
Elsewhere in Amputee Nation:
Amputee sprinter Blake Leeper was denied the chance to compete in the Olympics, but he got Nike’s attention: The company enlisted him as the centerpiece of its new underwear campaign.
Nigerian artist John Amanam put his sculpting expertise to use in making his brother’s prosthetic limb. That gave rise to a new company, Immortal Cosmetic Art, whose hyper-lifelike prostheses must be seen to be believed.
A new type of robotic hand from the University of Maryland is powered by integrated fluidic circuitry, rather than electricity. This “soft” bionic limb is capable of manipulating Nintendo’s game controller well enough to play (and win) Super Mario Bros.
Is the Professional Bowlers’ Association ready for a limb-different competitor? Above-knee amputee Bill Kernan hopes to test that premise.
The CEO of Texas-based Alt-Bionics, Ryan Saavedra, explains why prosthetic limbs are so expensive—and how his company is working to develop more affordable devices.
Whatever floats your boat dept.: Triple amputee Craig Wood, wounded in combat with the British Army, found his way to back to mental and spiritual health by sailing around the world. Track the voyage here.
Paralympic runner Scout Bassett tells Self magazine: “There have been times when I thought I was so damaged and broken and traumatized, that the scars were so big and deep, I didn’t think wholeness was really achievable.” Read about her journey of healing.