Written by: Brooke Raasch
As someone who is married to an amputee myself and has worked in the Orthothics and Prosthetics (O&P) industry for 20 years, I am acutely aware of the everyday struggles of the 2.1 million Americans who live with limb loss or limb difference. However, I also recognize that their struggles are not top of mind for most able-bodied people, who don’t personally interact with members of the limb loss/limb difference (LLLD) community on a daily basis, like myself. To effect real change, we need greater awareness of the issues facing the vibrant LLLD community, not just within our ranks, but “outside the bubble”, as well.
This year, for Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month (LLLDAM), myself and my friends at The Liner Wand wanted to do something to help AMPlify (pun intended!) awareness of the 507 individuals who join the LLLD community every day in the United States. Our goal was simple: create a t-shirt that both limb different and able-bodied people alike would want to where and which would spark conversation, while raising money for charity.
We added the t-shirt to our website and waited to see what would happen. And what happened was nothing short of amazing! Within days, our t-shirt was the top selling item on our website and we were being tagged in numerous photos on social media of people proudly rocking their 507 tees. Our message was resonating with people and it was awesome!
Of course, a few hundred t-shirts isn’t going to change the world. But, hopefully, it has opened some minds to the everyday realities of those living with limb loss or limb difference. If so, then it was worth the effort.