Limb Loss Awareness Month is also for Limb Differences
This is the fourth year the Amputee Coalition has hosted Limb Loss Awareness Month in April. To me, this month's theme has always felt a little detached from my feelings about limb differences since Jordan was born with a limb difference not a "loss" since Jordan never lost a thing.
So I dug a little deeper into the coalition's efforts in the last couple of years. It is trying to get each state's governor to sign a decree to make April officially Limb Loss Awareness Month. I was thrilled to see Missouri's Governor signed the decree in 2011. What's even cooler is seeing the words inside that decree... It makes it clear this month also makes note of Jordan and so many other kids and adults born with limb differences. It reads:
WHEREAS, there are approximately 2 million Americans living with limb loss and limb differences;
WHEREAS, more than 500 people lose a limb each day in the United States;
WHEREAS, 1,000 babies are born each year in the United States with congenital limb difference;
The decree continues from that point to focus on preventable limb loss, like diabetes and vascular disease.
I appreciate the effort of the coalition and I am SO glad there are smaller groups like Born Just Right, Lucky Fin Project, Helping Hands and a TON of Facebook pages that focus on the support and celebration of limb differences (or loss). There doesn't need to be a division between those who lost a limb and those who were born with limb differences. We are a small enough group of people where it's best everyone supported each other to raise awareness for funding and cultural change.