I am a junior studying Spanish and neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, and I am a right-leg above the knee amputee. I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in my right femur at the age of nine, at which time I received an internal prosthesis. Due to complications and a nasty infection, my knee became stuck bent, and I spent the next 11 years unable to walk properly. I was told running and sports were no longer an option for my life, and I resigned myself to using crutches. This past summer, however, I discovered that my internal prosthesis was broken, so I opted for an above-the-knee amputation to regain my mobility. I was originally fit for a fiberglass cast leg with a waist belt after surgery and I used this “leg” from the summer until this past October. I continued to use this cast leg because I was originally told that I would probably not fare well with a mechanical knee due to my left-side cerebral palsy, and I would need a “C-leg” to be able to walk normally. When I left for school in the fall, however, I was still using my post-op leg.
A friend of mine had an Above the knee running prosthesis made by Amputee Blade Runners. His name was Brandon Burke and he also lost his leg above the knee due to sarcoma. He introduced me to Aaron Fitzsimmons, and they both assured me I did not need a C-leg to be able to walk and that I was wasting time waiting on someone paying to make a C-Leg. Aaron agreed to make me a mechanical knee. Contrary to what my doctors had believed, I am now able to walk without crutches using this mechanical knee. I am working slowly and steadily towards a running leg and I’m so excited to see what the future has in store.
Thank you so much for everything!