My name is Megan Schabbing and I am a 22 year old, bi-lateral double amputee due to tibial hemimelia from central Illinois. Prior to receiving my Amputee Blade Runner (ABR) prosthetics I was quite active, despite my set-up that I had. All throughout elementary and middle school I was in taekwondo and achieved my black belt at age 12. I also tried a wide variety of sports, but I never really excelled at them. So, when it was time to go to high school, I knew that I would not be able to keep up at the level that I needed to, so I still participated in the sports, but was the “manager” of the team instead. I had these standard prosthetics my entire life, up until May of 2016. One of the main reasons that I applied to ABR was due to the fact that my fiance, who I will be marrying in the beginning of July of this year, really loves to run and be active and I knew this would be one way for us to be active together throughout our marriage. Another reason is due to the fact that I’m not in school any more and trying to stay active can be somewhat of a chore if not provided with the proper equipment.
I travelled to Nashville with my parents the week of Memorial Day in 2016 to visit Aaron and the crew and get set up with my new running and walking prosthetics. The week that I was in town is one that I truly will never forget. There were some long days and nights, trying out prototypes of sockets. I will forever remember how it was to see the Parthenon in Nashville for the first time and being able to run and walk around it during the day while using my new prosthetics. There was a lot of training and critiquing, but there was also some down time where my parents and I were able to explore Nashville and experience all that the great city had to offer us.
We are coming up on our one year anniversary, since receiving the ABR prosthetics, and everything has changed for the better. I am now able to wear my legs all day while at work with no issues with soreness or rubbing. I also feel like my gait is much smoother due to the tips that Aaron gave me and also the type of feet that I am now using. The running blade has also made a tremendous difference in my life. I am able to go on runs with friends and family and now make different memories with them that I was not quite as able to before. When I am running around town, typically wearing an ABR shirt, people ask me all the time about ABR and what the organization is and what type of work they do.
Thank you ABR!