Is it beach season yet? Must be getting close, because amputee models kept popping up in our news feed this week. First there was US Paralympic hopeful Noelle Lambert, who joined a diverse group of women to introduce a new line of inclusive beachwear from Swimsuits for All. “Still in disbelief this actually happened!” Lambert wrote on her Instagram page. Not a day later we learned that bilateral BK amputee Lauren Wasser is featured in a new campaign from Summersalt (motto: “Every body is a Summersalt body”). The Washington Post chimed in with separate articles featuring TikTok star Laiken Olive and NYC fashionista Kiara Marshall. The latter asked two questions on Instagram: “Who has a pool I can come swim in, and can you teach me how to swim?”
Elsewhere in the news:
Freshman engineering students at Louisiana Tech won a design competition with their Pro-Toe Foot, a prosthetic component that’s meant to facilitate hiking for leg amputees. “Prosthetics nowadays don’t really have any rotation,” says one of the youngsters. “We’re trying to get it to where the angle of the foot matches the angle of the ground.”
Are medical marijuana or CBDs a good solution for your pain management challenges? A couple of cannabis educators went over the basics on last week’s episode of the AmpuTO Show.
Over at Notre Dame, an aerospace professor unveiled his prototype of a powered, AI-guided prosthetic leg. The prosthesis is equipped with muscle-firing sensors that, it’s hoped, will give the user conscious control of the leg.
Another motor-powered, AI-guided leg, Össur’s Power Knee, has advanced to the early testing phase with a handful of VA recipients. Says one of the leg’s early wearers: “I can power through obstacles. It helps me go downstairs. I can do things better now than I did before, and it makes me look like a superhero.”
In his commencement address last week at the University of Kentucky, Sy Bridenbaugh recounted his decision to wear shorts to class on the first day of freshman year—and his terror at standing out. “When you have a leg that looks like a prop from the movie RoboCop, that will draw some stares,” he said. “I have always tried to embrace the way I live my life as an amputee, but it doesn’t stop the anxiety of a wide-eyed college freshman feeling different on campus.”
Sibling rivalry dept.: To help a girl with congenital limb difference hold her own in household war games, middle-school students in coastal Virginia are using 3D printers to turn her arm prosthesis into a Nerf Blaster.