The story and image of a Syrian Girl Using Tin Cans As Prosthetic Legs on Twitter the other day made my heart sink. I read on further to find that, fortunately because of Twitter, she was able to receive prosthetic care in Istanbul. I learned that her father is also a double above the knee amputee. Wow. They are now both being given prosthetic limbs. A Turkish doctor, Mehmet Culcu, will provide them free of charge.
That story caused me to reflect on my life and how fortunate I am to have the advanced, microprocessor controlled knees and prosthetic feet that I enjoy on a daily basis. It also made me think, that a country as economically advanced as the United States of America could be doing more to help those in less fortunate countries when it comes to prosthetic care. So, I searched for non-profit organizations in the U.S. that did just that. I found one that focuses solely on providing prosthetics.
A Leg To Stand On provides “free orthopedic care to children with untreated limb disabilities whose families cannot afford treatment.” They have provided life-changing orthopedic care, such as prosthetic limbs, orthotic braces, mobility aids, corrective surgery and rehabilitation to 16,729 children since 2003.
The other, Americares, is a “health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing medicine, medical supplies and health programs.” They have provided prosthetic care in the past to people in Rwanda and Haiti, but are more focused on general health.
The research results warmed my heart, but I know there are many more children and adults out there that need some sort of mobility aid. I know there are people here in the U.S. that need mobility aids too. There are organizations such as the Limbs For Life Foundation, The Prosthetic Foundation in Texas, and The Given Limb Foundation that focus on providing some sort of aid to those in need here in America.
Since I know what is what like to go without prosthetics for a while, I’ve made it my mission to help any way I can by raising awareness, providing support (whenever I land a job), or even working at one of these organizations as an ambassador/fundraiser. Will you help me?