Bringing awareness, education, hope and encouragement to those who live with the loss of a limb, as well as those who support them, Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month is celebrated to recognize amputees and offer the opportunity to live without limits!
According to the Amputee Coalition, more than 2 million people in the United States are living with the loss of a limb. And for at least half of the amputations that happen each year, the circumstances may have been preventable.
History of Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month
The background of Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month can be traced back to 1986 when a small collection of support group leaders for amputees began to see the need for a larger connection. This inspired the creation of the Amputee Coalition, empowering individuals with limb loss through education, advocacy and support.
In 2003 the Amputee Coalition National Conference was formed and just a few years later, in 2010, the Amputee Coalition established Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. The purpose of these events is to raise awareness around the special circumstances surrounding those who live without limbs. The focus is also meant to bring attention to the need for limb loss prevention in health and safety venues.
As an annual event, the popularity of Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month continues to grow throughout the United States and it is now also celebrated in many countries all over the globe. Each year, the month brings hope with a theme that focuses on special situations. Themes for past years have included: Inspire to Elevate, Your Ordinary is Extraordinary, We Thrive, and Be Strong.
How to Celebrate Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month
Consider some of these ways to observe and raise awareness for the important cause of Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month:
Get Educated About Limb Loss
One of the best ways to show support for an event such as Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month is to get more informed and educated about the issue. For those who don’t know a person who lives without a limb, this is a great time to do a little research to find out more, as well as learning about limb loss prevention.
Websites for nonprofit support organizations like the Amputee Coalition can provide a variety of resources and information on the subject, helping to get people and communities interested and involved. The online magazine, Living with Amplitude can be another resource to check out and get informed.
Show Care to a Person with Limb Loss
Those who are caregivers, medical providers or coworkers or other people who know folks with limb losses or limb differences may want to ask the person how they might like to be acknowledged and honored during Limb Loss Awareness Month. Perhaps it would be something as small as a card that shows support or, with their permission, hosting a fund-raising event in their honor to be donated to a charity that supports those who are amputees or have limb differences.