Empowering others: sharing experiences, ideas; offering creative solutions to common challenges.

Write to me at b.able2@yahoo.com

Thursday, December 12, 2013

As many of you know, I am an OT providing  prosthetic rehabilitation services to consumers. This story just came to my attention.... Please read on and be  sure to check out the link:
"This 6 yr old boy was born without part of his arm. He told Santa that he wanted an XBox and fingers to play it. A family friend started fundraising for a prosthetic arm for him because the parents' insurance will not cover a prosthetic arm for the little boy because it is not medically necessary. A little boy doesn't need an arm?Anyway, I thought, well, it is Christmas time. Miracles happen. Maybe someone can help... somehow...Thank you. xo"

Shame on the insurance companies.... and the reviewer who relays this sentiment. How despicable. The argument of the reviewer is that the responsibility of the provider is to prove that the (prosthetic) device(s) requested are medically necessary and that they did not likely submit such necessary evidence. -It is always the fault or the responsibility of someone else. It does not matter that the parents of this child, or any other consumer paying into an insurance policy for that matter; have been paying/contributing to that policy as stakeholders. Talk about being held hostage! We are required to have insurance, to pay into it; yet it provides little to nothing relative to our prosthetic needs. And what has happened to the basics of common sense, not to mention compassion for fellow human beings???? Are we so stupid or so callous that we cannot see the benefits of assistive technology... we have to prove the medical necessity, when the beneficial functional necessity is  apparent?
Please tell me that someone is going to come to their senses and assist ALL of the Christophers of the world...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Last Man Standing...

I would like to share a link to the story of an amazing young man. His website will encourage you;
 please check it out at http://www.nicknewell.tv/ And by the way, Nick fought last night.... and won.
 -No surprise to those of us who are overcomers and positivity-thinkers!
Kudos, Nick! You rock!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Have I mentioned to you how much I love the articles in Fast Company? Thankfully, I have a brother-in-law who appreciates it as well and shares very cool articles with me.... Here's one that is an amazing and worthy read.... Enjoy! -And thank you John!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Out on a Limb

You may be interested in this project! Please check this out ....

OUT ON A LIMB is a documentary about advances in prosthetics for amputees and their transformative impact on so many lives. It won the “BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD” at the 2013 Boston International Film Festival. Please forward to your friends and colleagues.
This coming fall, to coincide with Veteran’s Day, the documentary will debut on KRCB, a PBS-member station -- and we have been offered national distribution by NETA, the National Educational Telecommunications Association, which specializes in the distributuion of one-of-a-kind documentaries to 350 public television stations across the country. This is a huge audience!  But we need a little more help.
There are many expenses in accepting this offer from NETA, and we’re happy to say some foundations and companies have already come in as Underwriters of the Program.  We just need a little more – and we just have another few weeks -- to make it over the hump. That’s why we've just launched a Crowd-Funding Campaign. Check it out at:



But we’re not just asking, we’re giving too. You can receive “PERKS” such as the OUT ON A LIMB DVD with 30 Bonus Minutes of Stories and Interviews. What’s more, your donations are Tax-Deductible-- because OUT ON A LIMB is fiscally sponsored by the International Documentary Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
For more information about OUT ON A LIMB, visit www.outonalimbdocumentary.com
If you have questions, please contact Daria Price at: OutonaLimb68@gmail.com
 "Out On A Limb is a compelling look at the evolution of prosthetics and the exciting advancements being made in the prosthetics field at the intersection of neuroscience, engineering, and robotics. This is an inspiring and informative chronicle of human spirit and ingenuity.”  Stan Marvin, KRCB, Director of Broadcast
“A compelling documentary, Out On A Limb explores the incredible advances being made in the field of prosthetics and shows their potential impact on so many lives-- from the thousands of amputees wounded in wars to the millions of civilians at risk from such common diseases as diabetes” 
Peter Rosenstein, Exec. Director, American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Greetings from AC National Conference!

Today we arrived in Orlando, FL for the National Conference of the Amputee Coalition. This will be a well-attended event, with resources, courses, vendors, and loads of activities for attendees. The event opened today with peer mentoring seminars, an instructional semiar for therapists and meetings. The conference is being held at the Renaissance Orlando Sea World. -It's a beautiful venue with friendly accommodating staff. Speaking of accommodating, the hotel has pools and hot tubs.... all equipped with lifts to make these amenities accessible. Poolside this afternoon, I enjoyed the comraderie and networking. It's not too late to register for this conference, which runs through Sunday. The exhibit hall  opens Thursday at 5:30 p.m. -I will be found there through Saturday helping at the Handsprng/POA table. -Please come by and say 'hello'!    

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Inventing a Life

I hope that you will enjoy this publication; please read the article on consumer-inspired and -developed prosthetic technology. I'm sure that you will recognize a familiar name or two! -And please contact me if you have questions about my harness-less body-powered technology!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Check this out!

Newly crowned Miss Iowa hopes to advocate for people with disabilities

Nicole Kelly, the newly crowned Miss Iowa, plans to use her title to help advocate for people with disabilities, reports the DesMoines Register.
Kelly, 23, was born without her left forearm, according to her biography at MissIowa.com (note: site has been intermittently down). Photos can be viewed at the Miss Iowa Facebook page.
After winning the title, Kelly spoke with CBS-4 News. "It was shocking and overwhelming—just like that your life changes," she said.
"As I grew up I learned to counterbalance the initial stares I received from people with an outgoing personality that would not give into 'no,'" Kelly wrote on the pageant site. "This means that I tried everything. From baseball, to dance, to diving—there's nothing I would not try. I found my passion within a world where I was giving people permission to stare: the stage."
According to Kelly's biography, she's currently studying directing and theater management at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She hopes to work on Broadway.
"If you would have told me a year ago that 'pageant queen' was in my future I would have laughed," she wrote. "Giving voice to a platform is a great honor and I am excited to continue my adventure of speaking out and touching lives."
Kelly will compete in the Miss America pageant on Sept. 15 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Friday, May 24, 2013


I am constantly amazed by human ingenuity and our personal active choice to demonstrate resilience... particularly to benefit and to empower others. While so much of our news world-wide is dominated by destruction and oppression, here is a true story that speaks of overcoming and beneficence....

 It is the story of a Chinese farmer who lost his hands in an accident and who is turning his misfortune into a family business with home-made bionic arms that he now sells to other amputees.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/world-asia-22660393 >

Get inspired!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Coming Up Short-Handed

Well, clearly, they are not! Have you checked our this website/blog? Really aamazing stuff. I am pressed by common sense ingenuity, especially coupled by fiscal practicality and sound stewardship. Here are two men; both apparently forward-thinkers, who are using technology and practicality to make a difference. Check out their site: www.comingupshorthanded.com  and the stories of Rich and Ivan and how they partner trans-globally to impact the lives of  Liam and  Eden... and potentially countless others. Kudos!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some Tips...

Several people have written to me asking more about the sleeves that I'm wearing in the biking photo. (previous post) I've noticed since altering my prosthesis that my residual limb is much warmer in the socket. Now, don't get me wrong, the socket is often pretty warm, but with the carbon fibre 'skin' on the forearm, the socket is MUCH warmer, particularly during the seasons when I am not wearing a jacket. I am wearing sunsleeves, sold by Coolibar. They are known for selling clothing with sun protection. I have two sets of sleeves: a white paisley and a black paisley. They are easy to don and doff and easy to clean. I have found the 'sun sleeves' to be particularly helpful for two purposes. In the summer, I use a light-colored sleeve over the prosthesis and extending over my upper arm -It protects my skin from burning, and my carbon 'skin' from collecting to much heat so my socket is actually a little cooler. In the winter, I wear a dark sleeve in the same way. I truly don't notice my socket being cooler in the winter; I think it's warmer than without the carbon. One could use the coolibar sleeve over the residual limb and in the socket as well and it will likely keep the arm warmer in the socket during winter sports.
You can find this product at www.coolibar.com
Other products that are helpful to manage perspiration include an anti-perspirant made by Certain Dri, available in the pharmacy. If you are opposed to using too many chemicals, you can also use fabric with good wicking qualities, such as the titanium lines offered by Columbia, Avia, and UnderArmour to name a few. You can use a long-sleeved shirt of this material and twist it around the end of the residual limb (similar to a shrinker) and then fold it back onto the arm. Of course, you could also cut off the sleeve of a long-sleeved shirt and then use it the same way (but why ruin a shirt that you might actually wear over the prosthesis at some other point?!). You might find the material at a fabric store -or be able to purchase from the manufacturer directly to sew your own sleeve. Should you do this, be sure to wear it with the seam on the outside, and not against your skin!