Not many of us get a second chance. I did. I find my obligation now is, at the very least, to impart to other amputees the ease with which I find wearing a prosthesis.
In 2007, I met Amy Palmiero-Winters, mother of two, elite athlete, founder of the One Step Ahead Foundation and also an amputee. We met through our prosthetist Erik Schaffer. His talent, compassion, and dedication to creating the best prosthetics brought us together. Before Amy's accident she was passionate about running and riding motorcycles. One day while off from college she was riding her motorcycle and got hit by a car. She would not allow doctors to amputate her limb because of her passion for running. It was when Amy's friend said to her, "It's only a leg. It's not who you are," that Amy courageously amputated her leg. What truthful words her friend spoke. Today, Amy is an award winning renowned athlete.
With Amy, I found someone with the same perspective and attitude as myself, with the drive and passion to help other children gain the confidence to overcome any obstacle and follow their dreams. Although different, Amy and I were coming together for the same goal: making a difference in the lives of children with limb loss. Children who often pull away from fitness, socializing and living life to the fullest due to amputations.
While Amy spearheaded the physical fitness and athletic part of One Step Ahead, I would help children and teens navigate the emotional and social bumps they would endure. Amy was the athletic role model, while I was the Auntie Mame type.