Tuesday, June 26, 2007

White Mountain Naturals

A White Mountain Products Company
"Created for amputees by an amputee"

Below you will find a testimonial submited by Robbie Roberts. Robbie has been asked by the Governor of South Carolina to be their official spokesperson to the disabled community and is a published author of articles concerning the disabled in several magazines such as Family Health and Fitness, Men's Fitness, and Weight Watchers. Robbie also travels as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and speaks to bring awareness about disability issues around the State. He has turned his "Liabilities into an Asset". We can all learn from him...

I have been a double below knee amputee (BKA) for almost 5 years now. I have been in and out of the hospital several times in the last five years for cysts, abrasions, irritated skin and mrsa infections. I just got out of the hospital about 5 weeks ago, but while I was in the hospital my sister-in-law told me about Limb Defense Wash & Liner Cleanser and Limb Defense Skin Conditioner & Moisturizer she had read about on the internet. She had met Dave Harper and he sent me some samples to try. When I got home I started using them. I have used them for over 5 weeks now and my legs have never been better. There are no more dry patches, no infections, and my legs are soft as they have ever been, they are really back to normal since I have been using the products. I would really recommend them to all amputees. It is a heaven sent product and is well worth it for you to try it. My legs have never been better. Thanks guys, you have made my life a littler easier, and as we amputees know, every little bit helps. Keep up the good work.

Thanks, Robbie Roberts / Myrtle Beach, SC

I am not an amputee, but these products have been a God send! I have been affected with several conditions over the years that have caused me such discomfort that I simply began to accept the fact that relief would never be found. Sometimes relief comes from unexpected sources and when it finally shows up the feelings can be a bit, well, overwhelming. A friend of ours, Baptist Evangelist David Harper visited our church, which my husband Pastors and told us of a soap he had made to help amputees and that he was working on an all natural skin conditioner and moisturizer which he felt would help amputees with their residual limbs, he and suggested I try the wash and lotion. I have been bothered by “dust mite” bites (no see’ums) and their irritation for years, that have over time made me very ill from, what I believe have been the accumulative build up in my system of the toxic effects of their persistent and constant bites. Not to mention the effect this has had on my nerves as a continuing aggravation, which has consistently drained my ability to concentrate and live a quality life. I cannot believe how great I feel not getting eaten alive everyday. It had a drain on my nerves and at times caused me to be short tempered due to the constant itching and scratching. This left me with many painful skin rashes that just did not seem to heal. I also had trouble with a recurring fungal infection called Candida, caused by too much yeast or sugar in my diet and I developed rashes and dry skin patches around my nose and eye brows, which have plagued me for years. I am especially itchy in my outer ears from the dry skin. I tried using “Limb Defense Conditioner and Moisturizer” on a q-tip and lightly applied it to my outer ears and have experienced great relief. I missed a lip in both of my ears the first night I tried it and my ears were only itchy in these two areas where the lotion was missed. Isn't that funny? The next night I put it everywhere on my outer ears and it has helped me tremendously. My dad suffers from the same problems with his ears. Also I have been putting it all over my face at night and the rash and dry skin has disappeared when I used it along with the “Limb Defense Wash and Liner Cleanser”. I know these products are made to help amputees, but they work for just about anyone with skin problems with the potential for infection. I like the all natural ingredients and their ability to naturally help heal my body and give me a strong “Defense” against what life throws at me.
God bless…Suzanne D... from Rhode Island

I lost my right leg just below the knee two and a half years ago and I was troubled with skin problems right from the beginning. Because my first leg never fit properly I developed skin abrasions, irritated areas, dry skin patches and what seemed to be endless infections from cyst and irritated skin. Being in a silicon liner and sleeve led to a moist environment ripe for bacterial, fungal, and viral growth due to sitting in my own sweat during the times I wore my prosthetic leg. I received samples of the new “Limb Defense” products, Limb Defense Wash & Liner Cleanser along with Limb Defense Skin Conditioner and Moisturizer” With in days my troubled areas began to clear up and heal. I have not been bothered with an infection on my residual limb for almost two months. I am convinced these products will help other amputees to protect themselves from many future and potentially dangerous problems in the same way I have. I don’t know if this will prevent every problem that I will have, but at least now I have what I believe is a good “Defense” against future issues! The Tea Tree Oil is fantastic as it is naturally an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent with healing properties known around the world.
Evangelist Dave Harper Co-Owner and President of The White Mountain Products Company…I am not just the creator of these fine products, but I am also a satisfied customer and fellow amputee!

Monday, June 25, 2007

New leg offers hope for more stable world

By Dan Mac Alpine
GateHouse News Service
Wed Jun 20, 2007, 07:04 PM EDT

Beverly -
At 51, Steve Cornell now prefers golf to track. He’ll be competing in a national tournament in Chicago next weekend. He’ll have to fit the tournament in between his jobs as a warehouse manager and an assistant lacrosse coach.
However, his hectic schedule won’t likely be the biggest challenge he faces.
Rather it’s this: Cornell stands on one leg and presses down and forward hard. The leg of titanium, aluminum and graphite collapses and Cornell has to grab onto a padded examination table in the Cummings Center offices of Cornell Orthotics & Prosthetics to keep from tumbling onto his face.
And that’s the threat Cornell faces — every step of his life.
Teresa Arnold, 45, climbs a set of three steps in the Cornell (no relation to Steve) offices. She uses a cane. She takes each step, one at a time. Step. Pause. Step. She grasps the rail, as if half expecting her prosthetic leg to collapse — as Cornell’s leg had done — sending her crumpling down the stairs in a heap.
Arnold, too, faces the threat — every step of her life.
Then a technician from Otto Bock, a German maker of prosthetic limbs, pulls out a new leg that would eliminate that threat permanently for both Cornell and Arnold.
Unfortunately, the new leg costs about $20,000 more than the old one, anywhere from $33,000 to $45,000, depending on individual needs.
The cost creates a barrier between patient need and insurance coverage.
The smart leg, equipped with computer sensors in the thigh and ankle, heel and toe, senses the terrain and automatically adjusts the hydraulic knee, controlling the fluid entering the mechanical joint, so it’s impossible to overload and can’t collapse.
Cornell tried. And tried. And tried. Using the same technique he used on his purely mechanical leg. Every time he lunged for the table. Every time the leg held and the move was unnecessary.
Trusting the computerized leg was also an issue for Arnold. Walking the length of an exercise room, between two parallel bars, she tentatively stepped, leaning on her cane, half expecting the leg to fold or be as inflexible as her old, mechanical leg.
Arnold lost her natural leg to a vascular birth defect that stills causes swelling in her thigh and saps some of the strength she needs to engage the mechanical hydraulic knee.
Cornell, who lost his natural leg at 12 while trying to hop a freight train, has no such issue.
“I’m hoping the new leg will have an ease of flexibility and need less force,” said Arnold. “That would be helpful. It would be less exhausting to use.”
Arnold didn’t quite break into a trot when fitted with the new leg. She wanted to use the cane, but there were moments, two or three steps in a row as she paced up and down the room’s length, when she forgot and the computerized knee flexed and Arnold almost lost her limp.
“The more she would use it the more she would learn to trust it, the less energy she would expend,” said Keith D. Cornell, owner of Cornell Orthotics & Prosthetics, who fits and constructs prosthetics from his office/factory. “I was hoping she could put the cane down, but she would need more time to do that. She got a taste of it and saw it’s possible to walk much better.”
For Arnold, the leg met her basic hopes.
“It’s exciting to have a component that will stand up and not use up so much physical effort with every step I take,” she said.
For Keith Cornell it’s such glimpses that he hopes will capture the medical community’s attention and, just as importantly, insurance companies who would pay for the computerized leg.
The Otto Bock, C-leg, so named for the computer language that drives it, uses technology that’s about 5 years old.
Newer Bluetooth computer technology makes it easier to program the C-leg. A few years ago, Jeff Honma, a clinical specialist with Otto Bock, would have had to connect his laptop to the C-leg with multiple wires in order to program the leg’s computer chips to adjust for the user’s individual gait. Now he now simply taps on a wireless keyboard.
“It’s a lot less cumbersome and faster,” said Honma.
Still, the basic technology remains the same.
“It’s proven technology, but still not widely available to patients. It’s not experimental,” said Keith Cornell who can see a way to improve his patients’ lives, but often can’t get past the glass wall of insurance coverage.
“Companies hesitate to cover newer prostheses because of cost or because medical necessity,” said Keith Cornell. “Both arguments are weak. Our field is a very small field and it is behind where it should be for getting the high-quality medical studies to show the efficacy of these devices. We are making progress.”
Hence the demonstrations in his office.
Just last year, Massachusetts passed a law that required prostheses to be covered at the same rate as all other medical expenses. So the policy coverage is uniform. Prior to the law, insurance companies covered prostheses at a lower rate when compared to other medical needs.
Still, the insurance companies decide what is medically necessary, deciding whether the newer technology makes enough of an improvement in patients’ lives to deserve coverage.
“It’s important to increase awareness,” said Kevin Cornell. “To let people know that these wonderful devices are out there and there’s still a lack of understanding of how they work. The demonstration showcases this technology and shows it’s tried and true and works very well.”
Steve Cornell needs no further convincing.
After taking the C-leg for a trial run —almost literally — around the Cummings Center grounds, he returned with an ear-to-ear grin.
Normally, he walks looking down at the ground to make sure his leg strikes properly and avoids uneven ground, potholes and other obstacles the would cause the knee to buckle and pitch him to the ground.
“I feel like a little kid in a toy store,” said Steve Cornell. “Trusting the knee not to buckle and then just walking step to step is so different. I can keep my eyes forward now and see the world around me.”
And with his insurance company picking up 80 percent of the cost, Steve Cornell figures he can afford the new leg.

Amputee riders, skydivers come to Plano

By Kevin Hageland, Staff Writer(Created: Friday, June 22, 2007)

Adversity is a part of everyone’s life. But on Tuesday, Plano residents will have the opportunity to meet a group of amputees that have taken the adversity experienced in their life and used it as a springboard to inspire others.Joe Sapere, Abel Cruz, Cliff Clark and Beasey Hendrix are part of this year’s Amputees Across America, a cross-country biking and skydiving trek done to inspire others and to increase public awareness of amputees as people with active lifestyles.The quartet began its journey May 28, when they departed from the HealthSouth Tustin Rehab Facility in Tustin, Calif. The group rides in increments of 150 miles and will continue to do so until the 3,500-mile trip concludes July 25 in Vero Beach, Fla.On Tuesday, the Plano Fire Department will escort the group east down 15th Street from Coit to just beyond Independence, before heading to the HealthSouth Plano Rehabilitation Hospital at 2 p.m. Once there, Mayor Pro-Tem Sally Magnuson will be on hand to declare it Amputees Across America Day in Plano“I think the most important message these guys have for everyone is that having any kind of disability shouldn’t keep you down or ruin your life,” said Tammy Hermann, senior marketing liaison at HealthSouth Plano Rehabilitation Hospital.The members of Amputees Across America will visit HealthSouth Plano patients and members of the Dallas Amputee Network to share stories of overcoming their amputation to live healthy, fulfilling lives. Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, as well as Synergy Orthotics and Prosthetics will be on hand with information about the latest advances in prosthetic devices.“It’s pretty special to see people with such active lifestyles, especially older people, do something like this,” said Ellen Fernandes, Organizer for DAN. “Some people may think there is nothing left for them, but these guys show that getting an amputation doesn’t mean your life is over; you can still get involved and have fun.”Fernandes said she has sent out group emails and newsletters about the visit, as well as advertising it on the organization’s website, but that she still has concerns about how many people will show up for the cause. Fernandes stated that many people will be working at the time of the event and will be unable to attend. Hermann said she has invited the American Homeschool Association to attend.Despite worries about attendance, Fernandes said she was looking forward to Tuesday. This won’t be the first time Fernandes has seen Amputees Across America come through Plano, as the group also visited the city in 2002, the first year of the first cross-country trek, and 2006.“It’s a very festive atmosphere when they come through, and people always seem to ask a lot of questions,” Hermann said. “And for the HealthSouth patients, I think it gives them inspiration and hope. It’s great seeing the smiles on our patients’ faces when they meet and talk with the riders.”And while the trip started with four riders, the Amputees Across America quartet is now a trio as Hendrix had to drop out due to complications with his diabetes. But the three remaining riders refused to alter or shorten their travel plans.The group is led by Sapere, who founded Amputees Across America in 2002. At 66, Sapere, who lost his leg in a 2000 skydiving accident, is the oldest rider in the group. Since that time, Sapere said his goal in life has been to demonstrate to other amputees that life can get better despite amputation. Sapere was in the Air Force and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern California.Riding alongside Sapere is the 55-year-old Cruz, who lost his leg after a motorcycle accident in August 2005. As a result of the accident, Cruz also suffered left shoulder, left femoral neck and pelvic fractures. But before Cruz could even walk again, he was pedaling a bike with the help of a stationary trainer. Cruz has been married to his wife Jerri for 29 years and has two daughters.Rounding out the trio of riders is Clark, or Doc, who became an amputee after complications from osteomylitis in 2005. Clark was in the Army for nine years and now serves as a home health and hospice medical director. He is also an avid cook.Since this annual cross-country trip is already sponsored by HealthSouth, Amputees Across America focuses more on spreading awareness than raising funds.“Obviously the group takes donations, but they never bring it up,” Hermann said. “But I guess after you affect even one life, that’s all the motivation you need.”After coming through Plano, Amputees Across America will be at the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Dallas on Wednesday. The next day, the trio will continue their journey as they head to Tyler.“I think anyone that comes to the event will be absolutely inspired by these guys,” Hermann said. “We all have challenges in our life, but it’s great to see people that are able to overcome any obstacle.”Hence the triumvirate’s slogan of, “Dream it, believe it, achieve it.”For more information on the riders, visit: www.amputeesacrossamerica.com or to find out about DAN, visit: dallasamputeenetwork.org.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Kernan ASERT (Amputee Support Education Resource Team)

Outpatient Therapy Room, 2200 Kernan Drive, Baltimore, MD 21207, 410-448-6731

June 13, 2007

Dear Amputees,

As you are probably aware, amputees are increasingly facing economic challenges on top of the physical challenges they face every day. During the last five years, there have been drastic changes in healthcare insurance. Many amputees face radically reduced coverage for prosthetics, making it difficult, if not impossible, to afford proper prosthetics and care. This is a trend in insurance coverage.

In a 2006 poll, the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) found that 24 percent of its members had their coverage reduced in the past few years, with 4 percent experiencing an elimination of their coverage completely. This is a trend we must change. But we need your help!

There are a group of prosthetists and patients working with the ACA to advance legislation that will mandate coverage for appropriate prosthetic devices and necessary maintenance and repair for their safe and successful use.

At the very least, we ask that each amputee, family member, healthcare professional, and friend pledge to contact their legislators about this effort. They need to hear loud and clear from their districts about the importance of requiring prosthetic coverage. We will provide you with the necessary contact information and sample letters.

Action is taking place right now to push this bill forward. Assistance with phone calls or mailings, attendance and participation in legislative action, and financial assistance through donations of any size are all great ways to assist the effort.

Please join us and we will all benefit!


Mary Jo Young
c/o Naomi Miller/Kim Cardosa
Kernan Hospital
Outpatient Therapy Room

For more information, contact the Advocacy Department of the ACA at 202-742-1885 or appll@amputee-coalition.org