A lot of serious advocacy takes place during Limb Loss Awareness Month. People are out telling their stories in venues that range from elementary schools to legislative chambers. (BTW, if you haven’t added your own story to the Amputee Coalition’s “Moments That Matter” portfolio, do it now. Here’s the link.) Nonprofits and support organizations are holding month-long fundraisers, staging 5K runs, selling ribbons, and more. The first 10 years of this event were wildly successful; the next 10 (and more) promise to be even better.
But after you’re done advocating for the amputee community, take a moment to advocate for yourself. Here’s a grab bag of merchandise—all of it either brand new, on sale, or both—to reward yourself with during LLAM.
RBKA Joan MacDonald was excited to receive her first prosthesis a few years ago—until she saw the socket attached to it. “It looked like a giant band-aid,” she groans. Thus was born Socket Socks, a line of colorful slip-on fabrics that turn your fiberglass fitting into a fashion statement. The idea came naturally to MacDonald, a professional seamstress and clothing designer. Her fabrics are chosen for amputee comfort as well as style, and they’re affordable enough that you can build up a whole wardrobe of these and modify your look to suit the occasion. Choose from more than two dozen patterns, or upload your own custom design. Special Limb Loss Awareness deal: Since orange is the brand color for LLAM, Socket Socks is selling its orange Lightning fabric at 50 percent off all month. Learn more about the company on Cosi Talks.
Order at: www.socketsocks.com
CBD Friction Defense and Pain Relief
We’ve written before about CBDs’ potential benefits for amputees, but these two CBD products are the first we’ve come across that are specifically formulated for residual limb care. Launched just a few days ago by A Step Ahead Prosthetics, this two-step treatment is designed to prevent inflammation while you’re active and promote healing while you’re at rest. “We needed something that’s effective from a CBD standpoint and doesn’t have any agents that would irritate the skin in the harsh conditions of a liner under stress,” says Renato Castilho, the company’s director of product development. Both products eschew ingredients commonly found in other topical CBD products, swapping in a silicone-based lubricant to prevent chafing, a splash of lidocaine to neutralize inflammation, and a nano-emulsified process to promote absorption. Beta tested by world-class paraathletes such as Amy Palmiero-Winters, the Friction Defense / Pain Relief combo is available at an introductory price (40 percent off) throughout Limb Loss Awareness Month.
Order at: www.weareastepahead.com/see-what-we-do/asap-cbd-pain-relief-friction-defense-for-amputees
Combat Flip Flops Amputee Retrofit Strap
“There’s a saying in business,” says Matthew Griffin (aka Griff), founder and CEO of Combat Flipflops. “‘Real products solve real problems.'” Griff’s company does its part to address global problems by creating jobs in developing countries and funneling its profits into international women’s education, mine removal, and other worthy causes. The Amputee Retrofit Strap solves a more localized problem: Some of Griff’s fellow Army veterans needed a way to wear Combat Flipflops on their prosthetic feet. The popular item was sold out until just this month, but a recent shipment replenished the shelves just in time for LLAM. The retrofit strap pairs with CFF’s staple model, the Floperator. And if flipflops aren’t your thing, the company has a whole line of shoes, tees, hoodies, and other gear. Learn more at TEDx.
Order at: www.combatflipflops.com/products/flip-flops-for-amputees
Ottobock USB Charging Adapter
Designed to work with all of Ottobock’s powered prosthetic devices, the USB charging adapter gives you the freedom to recharge on the go. Toss it into your purse, glove compartment, or messenger bag, and you can power up while you’re driving, working on your laptop, waiting to board a flight, or doing almost anything else. No more running out of juice due to your busy schedule or because you forgot to plug in overnight. In addition to offering this brand-new accessory at an introductory price throughout LLAM (US customers only), Ottobock is giving away five of the devices gratis. Submit an entry at b2cforms.ottobock.com/form/provide/2554/.
Order at: www.ottobockus.com/llam.html
Every Day Is a Gift
Released just last week, this memoir by US Senator Tammy Duckworth is about much more than limb loss. The author acquired an amputee’s toughness and resilience decades before she lost both legs to a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq. After surviving poverty and racial discrimination during a childhood split between Southeast Asia and Hawaii, Duckworth struggled to earn respect as a young woman in the Army. Ironically, her spirited recovery from limb loss and her full-throated advocacy for wounded veterans helped her achieve a level of esteem that she’d been denied as an able-bodied, active-duty soldier. “No matter how grievous the wound, healing is always possible,” she writes.
Order at: bookshop.org/books/every-day-is-a-gift-a-memoir/9781538718506