Losing a limb obviously isn’t easy. It can be just as difficult on you emotionally and mentally as it is physically. But it’s important to remember that you’re never alone. In addition to the support offered but your practitioner team, there are many organizations and resources out there to help and support you through this transition.
Having a strong support system and finding a community to be involved in can be a great way to meet new people and gain the encouragement you need. Even if you are a seasoned amputee, it’s never too late to find new groups and activities to get involved in and encourage other individuals who are new to the process.
Here are a few of the organizations and websites to check out for resources and information.
Wiggle Your Toes
Wiggle Your Toes (WYT) is a nonprofit organization founded in Minnesota. This organization was founded by Aaron Holm, who lost both of his legs in an accident. Aaron and his team’s goal is to provide amputees with the care and resources they need to return to their life and thrive. The WYT website provides resources and ‘next steps’ for new amputees, as well as tools and peer support to help get through this difficult transition. This organization's goal is to support and assist those who experienced limb loss and help them heal, recover, and flourish.
WYT also hosts events and ‘clinics’ for amputees to meet each other, be active, learn new skills, and build relationships within this community. They put together a surf clinic this past summer and also offer a WYT Running and Mobility Clinic at the University of Minnesota Field House. This clinic is typically held over the winter months and recently extended into the spring and summer.
“Whether you are a recent amputee or an experienced adaptive runner – we welcome you to join us,” a spokesperson said. “We will be offering free adaptive strength and agility workouts, track workouts, and distance road running workout options (in the warmer seasons).”
The Amputee Coalition’s mission is “to reach out and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention.” On this organization's website you can find resources with critical recovery information for new amputees, daily tips to make living with limb loss easier, a list of peer support groups across the U.S. (virtual and in-person), community events, advocacy and awareness, and physical/mental health and wellness information.
The organization’s blog, “THRIVE,” offers resources for the latest news, updates, events and education about limb loss and limb difference. The posts cover a wide range of topics from the latest updates on legislation regarding limb loss and insurance coverage to tips for traveling as an amputee.
Amplitude offers magazines, newsletters, and other resources for those who have experienced limb loss. Some of the resources on the organization’s website include a guide to living with limb loss and an O&P search page for support groups and prosthetists so you can easily find the help you need in your area.
The Amplitude magazine “provides valuable and unbiased news, information, and resources for amputees who want to live more fully, as well as articles and information relevant to their families and their caregivers. There is easy to find content on a wide range of topics – anything that will help amputees enjoy all that life has to offer.”
These are only a few of the many resources and organizations available to help guide you through this transition. With the endless resources available online and on social media platforms, finding the help you need can be overwhelming. Talking with your O&P practitioner can help guide you in the right direction and get you the resources and support you need, as well as help get you in contact with groups or organizations that can help you (or that you can help)!