If it seems like Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month is making an unusually big splash this year, you’re not imagining it. By multiple measures (media coverage, online traffic, event attendance), this year’s LLLDAM is off to an excellent start, drawing robust participation while bringing loads of attention to our community’s people, stories, and resources.
If you haven’t gotten involved yet and aren’t sure where to begin, it’s not too late. On the contrary, things are just getting started. You can take part without ever leaving your house or even looking up from your phone. But if you’re looking for something to get you out into the community to connect with other amputees, opportunities abound.
Here’s a sampling of what’s going on across the nation. We’ve packed this list with lots of ideas, but we’re sure it isn’t comprehensive. If you can’t find anything herein that appeals to you, keep looking. There’s something out there for you, we just know it.
If you have an event to promote and we left it off, send us an email and we’ll try to include it next week.
#WeTHRIVE: The Amputee Coalition is hoping to pile up at least 500 individual limb-loss stories under this hashtag during April. That’s about 17 a day. You can share your story in words, images, and/or videos. You can either post on your own social media accounts using the #WeTHRIVE hashtag (and tag the Amputee Coalition), or upload via the Amputee Coalition’s online portal. If you’re not sure what to write about, use one of the WeTHRIVE Daily Dares as a prompt.
#MobilityIsNotaLuxury: This campaign is being co-sponsored by the Range of Motion Project and about 10 other organizations, including the Jordan Thomas Foundation, Steps of Faith, Wiggle Your Toes, and the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA). All you have to do is post a video on your social describing what mobility means to you; the best takes =will be spliced together into a supercut at the end of the month. More info at ROMP’s LLLDAM page.
#PringlesChallenge: Here’s an outside-the-box LLLDAM idea we really like from two of our favorite Instagrammers, Mad4Minnie and tiddbit_outta_hand. Here’s how it works (quoting Minnie): “Get you some Pringles. Stack them to support Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. . . . Tag friends and fellow limb difference warriors to join in… you will laugh, make memories, and spread awareness at the same time.” Watch the demo video, and it becomes obvious how this works.
Heart to Heart: On April 14, Less Leg More Heart will inaugurate its monthly virtual peer platform for people with limb loss. Titled “Heart to Heart,” the series will feature high-profile speakers, discussion panels, and practical advice, along with giveaways for participants. Here’s the Zoom link to the event, which begins at 6 pm Eastern time.
Unlimited Tomorrow “Real Talk”: Lots of high-profile upper-limb amputees will be sharing the spotlight on April 28 for a candid conversation about limb difference. Instead of avoiding uncomfortable topics, this panel will take a no-holds-barred approach that covers the good, bad, and the in-between. This online event starts at 4 pm Eastern and features some of our favorite peeps, including Kayla Maria G, Alexis Hillyard, Kiersten Kelly, and Christie Grey. Registration is free at this link.
Boston: Lululemon, Adaptively Abled Amputees, and The Liner Wand will wrap up the month with a community social and inclusive workout session on Wednesday, April 27. It’s designed for all ages and ability levels, with the proceeds supporting Adaptively Abled and Lululemon. The event marks the culmination of a month-long Wear Orange Wednesday campaign, so sport some orange, wear comfortable clothes, and be ready to sweat a little. Tickets available here.
Dallas: The North Texas VA will hold an educational event on April 15 for veterans who have experienced or are facing limb loss. Sponsored by the Prevention of Amputation in Veterans Everywhere (PAVE) team, this day-long event will cover the latest practices in limb-loss prevention, medical care, prosthetic technology, and physical rehabilitation after amputation. Attendance is free for all veterans and their families.
Denver metro: The Limb Preservation Foundation is hosting a symposium in suburban Golden on April 29. Titled “Advancing Patient Possibilities,” this one-day event features a stellar cast of speakers that includes Paralympic athletes, prosthetists, surgeons, bionic engineers, and researchers. Sessions will cover a range of topics, including osseointegration, wound care, pain management, and the future of prosthetics. It’s nearly a sellout, but you can still reserve a slot at the event website.
Grand Rapids, MI: Hanger Clinics and local partners are sponsoring their annual LLLDAM 5k fundraiser on Saturday, April 30, beginning at 10 a.m. Registration is $30, and proceeds go to support adaptive sports and recreational programming for people with disabilities (including kids). Get more info and register here.
Kansas City: Share rooftop views, free microbrewed beer, and excellent company on April 13 at this fundraiser for our friends at the Steps of Faith Foundation. Tickets are $50 a pop, and all proceeds support Steps of Faith’s outstanding work on behalf of amputees.
Pennsylvania statewide: Throughout LLLDAM, the Pensylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is promoting its Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension Program. This underutilized resource provides a monthly pension of $150. More than 2,000 veterans are currently enrolled, but many eligible recipients don’t even know the program exists. Here’s where you can find out if you qualify.
Washington, DC metro: Medical Center O&P will be sponsoring the annual Amputee Awareness 5K Walk, Wheel, or Run on Sunday, April 24 in the Maryland suburb of Rockville. Registration is free, but participants are asked to raise at least $200 toward the overall goal of $50K, with proceeds used to defray medical expenses and prosthetic care for amputees in the DC area.