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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Limb Loss Education Day

     As most of you know, I lost my arms when I was 2 1/2 years old in an electrical accident.  With the help of strong parents, patient therapists, and my strong will and determination, I have become an independent woman who lives life as normally as anyone else.  If you know me, you also know that I haven't been involved at all with amputee groups, mainly because I do not choose to define myself as an amputee. Yes, I am an amputee (I can't deny it), but I am so much more than that!  If I could choose what defines me, I'd choose to be known for the kind of person I am, the kind of mother I am, and for me determination as an athlete.  
    However, last year I was invited to be a guest speaker at an amputee expo and received an award!  You may recall that I blogged about it, too! http://barbiethomas.blogspot.com/2012/05/special-blessings.html I realized that day that it wasn't about defining myself. I didn't need to be there for myself.  I do need to be there for the others though. I realized that I have some great insight on what it's like to be missing limbs, adapting throughout life, and keeping a strong and positive mentality.  It was very apparent to me that I have the ability to be of great service to others in this area.  Click on the above link and read that blog if you can.
     Anyway, I was invited to be on a panel of "Active Amputees in Arizona" this weekend at the Amputee Coalition of America's Limb Loss Education Day, which happens to be i Phoenix this year.  Of course, when they asked me to be there, I replied right away with a happy, "YES!"  It's going to be very casual.  All of the panelists will be just sitting at a table where people can come up and talk to us, ask questions, ask for suggestions, support, advice, etc.  I was told to bring any special things that I use in everyday life that I could show.  I have a few things I will bring, but I honestly don't use any special tools, except for what I use for dressing.
    I am looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully helping several people.  I know I'll be on cloud 9 before I ever even go....I have a date the night before, and he might be going with me for this as well!!  Yeehaw!  
   For anyone who is interested in attending this, you can get all the info. at:  http://www.amputee-coalition.org/events-programs/limb-loss-education-day/index.html  I hope to meet some of y'all there!!
Have a great day!

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