Category Archives: ‘Rite on Point with Tanya

5 Inspiring Amputee Animals Who Triumphed Over Tragedy

Most of my blogs are related to humans, maybe because I am a human and it is easier for me to talk about me! LOL

But in honor of National Love Your Pet Day (February 20), I decided to take a different approach and research amputee animals. O-M-G! Amputee animals are so cute (like any animals). We can learn so much from them, like not giving up on life and keep moving forward no matter what’s stopping us – we just need a little more help!

  1. Chi Chi – Golden Retriever

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Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Howell

 

I wrote a blog on Chi Chi, the Golden Retriever, back in November! Chi Chi was found inside a trash bag near a black market meat trader in South Korea. According to rescuers, she was barely breathing and all four legs were bound with wire.

She was immediately rushed to the hospital where doctors declared that the only way to save Chi Chi’s life would be to amputate all four of her paws. Losing her paws has not diminished Chi Chi’s energy or spirit. Just a day after her surgery, she was ready to be up and about, playing with her toys. Chi Chi is now living with her new family in Arizona. Her new owners have certified Chi Chi as a therapy dog so she can visit amputee patients. The best part, Chi-Chi looks incredible in our Knit-Rite prosthetic soft socks! 🙂

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Photo courtesy of people.com

 

If you would like to hear more on Chi Chi’s journey, follow her on Facebook or on Instagram @chichirescuedog

 

2. Ozzie – Goose

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Photo courtesy of 3dprint.com

 

Ozzie is a male goose that lives in South Africa. He was rescued by Sue Berger as part of an animal rescue effort. Ozzie had sustained a severe fracture in his left leg; so bad in fact that amputation of the limb was the only option. As a result of the amputation, Ozzie had great difficulty performing normal goose activities – such as walking. Because the rest of his body overcompensated for the missing limb, it caused him to end up breaking wings and damaging other parts of his body. Ozzie’s owner could not bear to see him continue to struggle, however she also did not want to give up on him. Berger sought out help from others – experts in 3D printing technology helped print a new leg for Ozzie to be able to walk again normally. Once Berger assembled the team to help, they developed a unique 3D design for Ozzie’s prosthesis. BunnyCorp who were responsible for the design of Ozzie’s leg, started the process by measuring Ozzie’s remaining leg in order to size up the dimensions properly in their computer program. Once the design of his leg was complete, they sent it to Hybrid Advanced Geometrics for 3D printing.

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Photo courtesy of 3dprint.com

 

Ozzie will require physical therapy, but has actually begun to walk using the prosthetic leg. The team is keeping an eye on his progress and this first version of the leg to see how Ozzie does before they actually go to CRPM to have his final, permanent nylon prosthetic leg 3D printed. The final 3D print is expected to be extremely durable and long-lasting for Ozzie, who should be out foraging in the green grass again soon.

Read more about Ozzie here

 

 

3. Minzi – Pomeranian

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Photo courtesy of @missyminzi

 

Minzi lost her leg as a puppy due to a medical malpractice incident, but never lost her positivity. After her owners spent two years searching for a prosthesis, they finally got her a new prosthetic leg. Their search was long due to her small size. Minzi was too small for most prosthetists to manage. Her new prosthesis fits perfectly and she is doing well with it.

Follow Minzi on Instagram @missyminzi

 

4. Mosha and Motola – Asian Elephants

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Photo courtesy of itv.com

Both, Mosha and Motola, two Asian elephants made headlines when became the first two elephants to be fitted with prosthetic legs. The elephants lost their limbs as calves when they stepped on landmines in Northern Thailand. Mosha was only seven months old at that time and weighed in at 600kg. As she grew, she was fitted with nine different prosthetic legs. She is now 2000kg.

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Photo courtesy of itv.com

 

Unfortunately, the border between Thailand and Myanmar is still dotted with landmines left over from clashes between ethnic-minority rebels and the Myanmar army dating back decades. Motola was injured by one of these landmine explosions while working for the logging trade in Northern Thailand. Being fitted with prosthetic legs saved both of these animals’ lives and Mosha and Motola are thriving!

Read more about Mosha and Motola here

 

5. Gamera – Tortoise

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Photo courtesy of newsfeed.com

Life for an amputee turtle isn’t easy. It’s tough enough crawling around with four stocky little legs and a cumbersome shell, let alone just two or three limbs. Leg injuries for these reptiles are surprisingly common, particularly in the wild. Fortunately, missing a leg or two isn’t always a death sentence for these creatures. Moreover, inventive vets and other caring people have come up with creative ways to make sure that turtles and tortoises get mobile again.

In April 2011 a tortoise by the name of Gamera was affected by an unexplained, yet serious leg injury. The African tortoise, who was 12 at the time, was taken to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University (WSU). at WSU, it was decided that the reptile’s front left leg would have to be removed to keep him alive.

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Photo courtesy of itv.com

 

Thankfully, the vets at WSU didn’t give up on Gamera, and took an imaginative approach to getting the reptile back on his feet – well, the remaining three at least. The team fixed a swivel-style wheel to Gamera’s shell, allowing him to have mobility for the rest of what should promise to be a long life.

Officials have reported that Gamera is thriving with his new leg. He doesn’t even mind that he now vaguely resembles an office chair.

Read more about Gamera here

This February 20, reserve some extra love for these amazing pets on National Love Your Pet Day! ❤

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14 Things You’ll Understand If You’re Dating Someone With Leg Amputations!

Who wouldn’t want to date someone who is part robot? 😉

  1. People will be weirdly nosey.

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Photo courtesy of memegen.com

 

“Do they take it off for bed?” “What does it look like?” “Can they walk like a real person?” “Do they use it while being intimate?”

2. But you’ll have use that as an excuse to brag about your loved one!  

“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but she learned to walk again in a matter of months.” “His prosthetist say he’s the best walker in town.” “She’s a pretty big deal in the leg industry.”

3. And anyway, weird questions can be fun when your loved one has a great sense of humor.

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Photo courtesy of lovepanky.com

 

Little kid at the beach: How did you lose your leg?

Loved one: A shark ate it.

Little kid: *gulps*

Loved one: At this beach.

Little kid: *runs*

4. And spooning is far more comfortable. …because there’s so much extra space to wrap myself around.

5. But you have to be careful when play-fighting. 

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Photo courtesy of memegenerator.net

 

You know when you accidentally kick a lamp post? It’s like that, but a metal leg.

6. There will be some leg-related accidents. 

Recalling will go something like this from you: “Remember that time I tripped and all your legs came falling down on top of me?” “Yup, didn’t hurt at all,” she replies.

7. Your loved one will use any excuse to show off their physical capabilities. 

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Trust me, their balance is on point.

8. But they’ll also use it as an excuse to be waited on.

Loved one: Can you get me a cup of water please?

Me: You get it.

Loved one: *points to leg and shrugs*

Me: C’mon!

9. You’ll receive recommendations on every movie that includes a leg amputee.

My Dog Skip

The Fault in Our Stars

Stronger

Yep, seen them all!

10. You’ll discover new things, like leg art…

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Photo courtesy of R. Williams and Lila Mai Caldwell / Via thealternativelimbproject.com

 

I mean, come on. Insane.

11. Fancy Halloween costumes will step up to a whole new level.

You’ll have discussed and created an extensive list of characters that you can dress up as together, e.g. shark attack, a pirate, the Terminator.

12. You’ll start to hate things for your other half, like airport security…

You’ll roll your eyes as the metal detector goes off and your loved one has to endure yet ANOTHER full-body search.

13. ..and phantom pain.

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Photo courtesy of deviantart.com

 

It has nothing to do with a guy in a mask that sings at the Opera. Phantom pain is having an itchy foot that you can’t scratch, but it’s worse because that foot doesn’t exist anymore.

14. And at the end of the day, you both know having one leg, two legs or no is seriously awesome … especially together!

Happy Love Day! ❤

 

 

 

Do you know the differences between the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Special Olympics?

The Winter Olympic Games are coming up next week and I can’t wait to watch Ice Skating! It’s probably one of my favorite Winter Olympic Sports. What are your favorite games to watch?

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Photo courtesy of sportsfeatures.com

 

In honor of The Winter Olympics Games, let’s talk about the similarities and the differences between the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Special Olympics.

The Olympics and Paralympics are two of the biggest sporting events that occur around the world. Due to this, it can be often difficult telling them apart. Let’s start with highlighting the similarities between the two. Both the Olympics and the Paralympics take place every four years, in two segments: The Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics; similarly the Summer Paralympics and the Winter Paralympics. Olympics and Paralympics take place in the same host city, but usually a few weeks apart.

The primary difference between the Olympics and Paralympics is that while most of the participants in the Olympics are able-bodied, the participants in the Paralympics are affected by some form of physical disability. The Paralympics originally started as a way to help soldiers that had been wounded in World War II. It was a way to provide a rehabilitating sport for veterans, which eventually turned into a recreational sport with friendly competition. Finally, it developed into what the Paralympics are today – an Olympic competition for people with disabilities. All the other differences are superficial. The Olympics are overseen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), whereas the Paralympics are overseen by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).  There are also slight differences regarding the sports played within the games, as well as the country members that participate in the events. One of the biggest drawbacks in my opinion, are the hours of the TV programing for Paralympics Games. According to the teamusa.com, it is less than half the hours of TV programming for the Paralympics. Although, it will double since the coverage of Sochi 2014. We are on the right track.

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Photo courtesy of Joe Kusumoto Photography 

 

The Special Olympics, on the other hand, have quite a few differences from the other two. They are hosted by the Special Olympics organization, and are focused more on participants with intellectual disabilities. Their events take place at any time, all around the world. They aren’t limited to an every four-year competition. The Special Olympics consist of regional, national and international competitions, which in all add up to more than 108,000 events every year. The goal here is not competition like in the Olympics and Paralympics, but rather participation. The Special Olympics hopes to help differently-abled athletes through the focus and determination of sport. And hence, they also help to train them throughout the year in order to get them ready for their respective events.

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Photo courtesy of keloland.com

 

I am honored to know two of the Paralympic athletes: Oksana Masters, who competes in biathlon, skiing and formerly rowing, and Amy Purdy, who competes in snowboarding.

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Back in 2014 with Amy Purdy and Oksana Masters

 

Congratulations and good luck to everyone competing at the Winter Olympics and Paralympic games this year. Go Team USA and Go Team Belarus!

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Does fashion for amputees differ from mainstream fashion?

Fashion and style changes every day. Some things go away and some things come back around. And some things are truly just brand new. Remember choker necklaces? They’re back!!!!

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Photo Courtesy of lilyrose.blog

 

But… Does fashion for amputees differ from mainstream fashion? Not unless you want it to. Amputees can adapt any style out there currently or they can create their own style.

Are there clothes specifically designed for amputees? Absolutely!

As I was doing some research, I found a great company that actually does some great work with clothing that adapts to disability needs and makes dressing and fashion easier. As an amputee, pants are something I don’t care for, because it takes a while to put them on. However, BKQ Amputee Boutique will adapt clothes like pants and blouses based upon the person’s ability to dress themselves.

Photo Courtesy of bkqamputee.com

 

I think I found a new shopping website!!!

Looking good isn’t just about the clothes you wear but also about having the confidence. The main advice I can give to you about fashion is to have confidence in yourself. Confidence looks great on everyone. Whether you are wearing a skirt or a pair of shorts, be confident and show it off. You’ll be surprised how well people respond to confidence.

Here a few of my tips on how to dress for confidence.

Learn how to dress for your body. And I mean really learn. Know what denim style looks best on you; what fabric is most flattering. Experiment with skirt length to determine what is better for your figure or what elongates you best if you’re petite. Consider being measured for a proper bra size, so that you wear one that truly fits (we’ve all been there). Wearing one that isn’t the right size can affect the look and fit of your outer clothes.

Know what color looks good on you! The right colors can make your hair color radiant, your eyes pop, and your skin glow. The wrong colors can make you look sallow, washed out, or even tired.

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Embrace your favorite features. What are your favorite parts of your body? Do you love your long or prosthetic legs, your height, your curves? Find outfits that play up and flatter these features, and mask the features that you dislike. You want to show off what you want people to see, and mute what you don’t. For example, my thighs are two different widths due to my prosthesis, so finding pants that fit right is difficult. Skirts are easier for me to put on but they also take the focus off of my thigh issue. Win win!

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Finally, define your style.The most important secret for confidence is simply to be true to yourself and appreciate your uniqueness. This is the case for dressing as well. Instead of attempting to emulate what’s trendy or someone else’s style, know what you like and what is comfortable for you. Finding a signature style will help you make every outfit you wear personal, so that you feel confident showing the world (or your boss or friend) who you are.

Bottom line, your first concern when getting dressed should be to empower yourself. Impressing others is just a by-product. And if a company like, BKQ Amputee Boutique can improve your fashion by adapting your clothes to your needs, then that’s even better! 🙂 Be you and Be proud!

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Hard Work Leads to Uncommon Accomplishments Among Amputees

Being an amputee is never easy. Unfortunately, a common sentiment among individuals who have experienced amputation, is that their limb differences are holding them back, or don’t allow them to pursue certain careers or goals. However, this is not the case. There are so many individuals who would beg to differ. I chose the following three people below to highlight because they are amputees who didn’t let their disabilities stop them from achieving their goals. They turned what some might feel are weaknesses into their greatest strengths.

 

Bethany Hamilton

Photo Courtesy of Bethanyhamilton.com

 

Bethany Hamilton is a professional surfer from Hawaii. She began training around the time she started walking and is currently one of the most recognizable amputees worldwide. As a child, she showed much promise in surfing – competing as early as 8 years old. She also received sponsorships from multinational surf-wear companies like Rip Curl. Unfortunately, when she was 13 years old, she was the victim of an incredibly rare shark attack that resulted in her left arm being amputated. With the help and support of her family, she returned to surfing only a month after her incident, and went on to compete in many more professional events. She is also the subject of the 2011 film, Soul Surfer, a movie based off her autobiography. Bethany continues to compete professionally, while also speaking at conferences and encouraging amputee children to pursue athletics through her foundation, Friends of Bethany.

 

Jim Abbott

Photo Courtesy of jimabbott.net

 

Jim Abbott is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and the New York Yankees. Over the span of his decade-long professional MLB career, he received multiple awards including the 1987 Golden Spikes Award; the 1987 AAU’s Sullivan Award for top Amateur Athletes; and the 1988 Olympic Gold Medal for his skills on the mound, despite being born without a right hand.

In baseball, left-handed pitchers are seen as unorthodox and hard to bat against due to their rarity. Pitching with his left hand, the only one he has, made Jim Abbott one of those orthodox pitchers, even without his disability. He is now considered one of the greatest left handed pitchers of all time.

His MLB career spanned from 1987 until he retired in 1999. Less than a year later, he became a professional motivational speaker. His honors didn’t cease after his retirement. In 2004, he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2007 he was elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. His success as a professional athlete is truly an inspiration. Knowing he’s also a congenital amputee is even more so.

Tom Whittaker

Photo courtesy of tomwhittaker.com

 

Ever since he was young, Tom Whittaker was an avid climber. His lifelong dream was to reach the peak of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. On Thanksgiving Day in 1979, Tom was in a car accident that resulted in the necessary amputation of his right leg from his kneecap to his foot. He didn’t let his newfound disability stop him from achieving his dreams. He continued to train to climb Everest, all the while beginning a business to connect disabled people with the outdoors. In 1981, he founded the Cooperative Wilderness Handicapped Outdoor Group that operated out of Idaho.

Nineteen years later, in 1998, Tom finally reached the summit of Mount Everest; both achieving his lifelong dream, and successfully becoming the first person with a disability to climb the mountain. Now, Tom spends his time supporting groups that are dedicated to giving people with disabilities the courage to achieve their goals.

These amputees are truly examples to everyone. They are each individuals who have gone through some challenging times, but didn’t let their disabilities stop them. But most importantly, they are examples to a future generation of amputees, because they demonstrated that the human mind is stronger than the body. Missing parts of their limbs, they accomplished things in an abled bodied world with hard work and a hunger for success.

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Q.A. time!

Below are some questions I get asked quite regularly! Enjoy 🙂

Q: Can I take a shower with my prosthesis on?

A: No. Unless you have a prosthesis specifically designed for water use, you may not shower or bathe with it. Confirm with your Prosthetist if your prosthesis may be used for showering.

 

Q: Do you sleep with your legs on? 

A: No, that would not be very comfortable. It’s like pair of shoes. I just pop them off and leave them on the floor while I’m sleeping.

 

Q: Can I continue to enjoy sports with my prosthesis?

A: Absolutely! Most people can resume their sports activities using their prostheses. Today, many advances have been made that allow amputees to participate in practically any sport imaginable. In my case, I am a distance runner. Due to advanced running blades, I am capable of doing half-marathons and more!

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Q: Why do you have two different prosthetic legs?

A: This question always confuses me because the answer is right there – I have two different prosthetic legs because I have two different types of leg lengths. One leg is AK (also known as Above the knee, meaning my amputation is above the knee) and the other leg is BK (also known as Below the knee, my amputation is below the knee). For my shorter leg (my AK), I need a longer prosthesis. For my longer leg (BK), I need a shorter prosthesis. Essentially, I have prostheses filling up the spaces where I am missing part of my legs.

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Q: Do you get frustrated by people whining about little problems?

A: Oh yes! It’s so frustrating. There are people paralyzed in life that would give anything just to walk. And here we are complaining about a quick 15 minute workout. But I am hoping to be that little inspiration to everyone and encourage them to get moving or just simply love life a little more.

 

Q: Do you think it’s hard to keep your head up as an amputee?

A: We all go through struggles. Even if I wasn’t an amputee, I’m sure I’d still struggle with something else. However, it’s all about enjoying little moments and little successes. Being an amputee isn’t easy, but I always have to remind myself that it could be worse.

 

Q: Can you paint your toenails?

A: Absolutely! I actually love painting my “toe nails.” It gives me that sense of real feet.

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Q: Can I touch/hold/try on your leg?

A: Uhh, the first two are fine. Regarding the third part of your question, how are you going to do that? I’ll take it off if you want to hold it and see how heavy it is. Trying it on becomes a bit tricky since most people actually have normal legs, so my leg doesn’t quite fit on them. But if you really want to, I’m not going to stop you. Just don’t break it! (You don’t want to know how much prosthetic legs cost…)

 

Q: How do you use a restroom at night? Do you have to put on your legs to go?

A: It depends on the amputee. Some use crutches, some hop on a leg or if they have to, some just have to put on their prostheses. In my case, since I am a congenital amputee and I’ve always been this way, I just walk on my knees. It’s not ideal, but it works well for me. Plus, by the time I put on my legs, do my business, then take my legs off, I’ll be all awake! Lol!

 

Q: What’s an amputee leg fart?

A: That’s when you have extra air in the prosthetic leg. And when you attempt to put your leg inside the prosthesis, that bit of trapped air makes a fart noise when its needs to get out. It’s actually quite funny, but can also be awkward too, especially when you tell others that it was your leg and not you!

 

Q: What’s the hardest part about being an amputee?

A: Not having all my limbs J And telling everyone what happened! I think the idea of being different is just hard. I want to be like everyone else, have normal legs and hands. But this is what I know and life is good. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

thanks,

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Staring: Blending In or Standing Out

Here’s my story. I’ve been an amputee my whole life, which means I’ve been dealing with staring all of my life, too. I used to do everything I could think of to avoid the staring by covering my legs and hands. It was my way to avoid the public eye and for others to not feel sorry for me. After all these years, I overcame the idea of hiding and now I proudly show off my disability. However, the idea of people staring will never go away because people are always curious. As much as I am comfortable in my own way, I still get uncomfortable from others looking at me.

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Photo courtesy of Memes&Gifs.com 

 


Today, people strive to be different because being different is in style. We might dye our hair – sometimes even unnatural or bright colors. We might straighten our hair if it’s curly or curl our hair if it’s straight. We get a tattoo to express ourselves. We get implants or other cosmetic surgeries to help us feel more comfortable in our own bodies. Often times, this is to get attention, at least in my humble opinion. In my case, I was born different and I strive to blend in. That is why I used to wear pants, so that nobody would stare at me and ask me questions.

As I got older and more comfortable in my own skin, I realized that the main reason people stare is because they haven’t seen anything like this before. I just have to respect that. If you see anything different, it is a normal human instinct – to look! Of course there’s that one person who just feels sorry for you, but fortunately there are only a few of those. Many people are just fascinated by the idea that non-human parts doing human movements.

Before & After


My advice for amputees – people will stare. It will never go away because most people haven’t ever seen prostheses in person. Embrace it! Be confident in your own body and educate people around you about it. Remember, your education of others will only expand their minds and the next time they see an amputee or a person with some differences, they’ll probably be more mindful of it. It’s not easy, but not impossible.

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And some advice for my non-amputee friends. Be mindful when you see a person with a prosthesis or another disability. Staring at them makes them feel uncomfortable. Don’t feel sorry for that person, because I bet they don’t even feel sorry for themselves. Don’t assume what happened to them. If you are really curious, just politely ask. You’ll be surprised what they are capable of despite their disability!

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