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June - The Dallas Amputee Network by liuhongmei



Volume 5              Issue 6            June 2011     
                                                                    Hotline (972) 470-0505
The June 13th meeting was held at Spring Creek          The next DAN meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. on the
Barbeque in Richardson and there were 42 in             second Monday, July 11th, at Spring Creek BBQ in
attendance—27 of whom were amputees. Marge              Richardson, 270 N. Central Expy/Hwy 75. The focus
Eckert and Ellen Fernandes greeted everyone at          will be on natural healing with herbs and massage
the door and made them name labels. After dinner,       therapy, and special techniques to relieve pain.
Randy Mecca welcomed everyone, especially first-
timers Cameron Wilson, Bert Hetzel, and                 Will Malmskog will be our special speaker. In
Joanne Carroll. We were very happy that they            2000 he lost his right leg below the knee after an
came to join us, and we hope they’ll be back next       on-set injury while he was working as a Hollywood
month. Randy told us about the Extremity Games          stuntman. Not one to give up, just 6 months after
being held this year in San Antonio on June 24 and      getting his first prosthetic leg, he qualified as the
25, and said he’ll be going there to participate and    first amputee firefighter in the history of California.
teach disk golf. Next month he will bring pictures of   Based on his experience helping other firefighters
the event and tell us all about it.                     get their jobs back, in 2002 he founded the
                                                        Amputee Firefighter Association. Will is currently a
RISE Adventures was formed in 2007 and their            Professional Firefighter, Personal Trainer and
goal was to create independence for the entire          Licensed Massage Therapist.
physically challenged population. They plan to
accomplish this goal through sports, recreation and     David Stevenson of HIYH Medical Services &
outdoor events and programs. Twice a year they          Repairs has already proven to be a very valuable
host a major event for all those with disabilities at   resource for us. He repairs and refurbishes medical
Meadowmere Park in Grapevine, Texas. Anyone             equipment and installs controls and wheelchair lifts
can try out the latest in adaptive equipment—           in vehicles. You may reach him at (469) 867-8727.
water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, fishing,
hand cycling, remote control sailboats, quad rugby,     Bob Courtney found a website that he wanted to
basketball, and many more fun activities to choose      share with us; it’s an easy and reasonable way to
from. Admission is free for qualified participants      order prosthetic supplies that we need from time to
and their families. Free food and drinks under the      time— They sell many
main tent. They also have other events during the       products like prosthetic leg covers to use while
year. For more info about activities or volunteering    showering, and tote bags for any size prosthetics.
call Mike Peters at (419) 701-4467 or go to
                                                        Bob also recently improvised a way to transport his Mike will be at our
                                                        crutches on his wheelchair when he goes to doctor
next meeting to tell us more about what they offer.
                                                        appointments. He looked around a hardware store
Amputees Across America came through our                and bought a 4‖ diameter cup and bolts to attach
area again this year and they were at Health South      to the left back wheel of his chair, and used Velcro
in Plano on June 21st for a reception. Seven of our     to secure the crutches to the wheelchair handles.
DAN members were there to greet them and to             This enables him to get around in his wheelchair
hear their stories. They autographed their poster       with crutches along when he needs them. He’s also
for everyone, and we had our pictures taken with        devised a way to get his above-knee prosthesis on
the three riders. They will not be coming to Texas      and off without getting undressed every time; he
                                                        demonstrated the inseam zipper he uses, plus
again for three years so we were very happy to be
                                                        showed us his wheelchair adaptations. You can
a part of this event, representing DAN.
                                                        contact him at
Tommy Donahue presented us with $200.00 that           From Kathy Williams: Ellen, I would like to
he raised with his friends during the Mavericks        ―Thank You‖ for being such a dedicated leader of
play-offs. He has done so much for our group; if it    DAN. From all indications (at the ACA Conference)
wasn’t for his Legapalooza Benefit, we would not       Dallas is one of the leading ―Amputee Support
have been able to send 15 members to the               Groups‖ and all praise goes to you. You are a
Amputee Coalition Conference this year. We’re all      good manager of our group – most of us are
very grateful to Tommy for his hard work in raising    unaware of all the work & time involved. You are
funds for our treasury. What a guy!                    appreciated by all.

Dan Johnsen spoke for all of us in expressing our
sincere appreciation when he wrote this letter:

Dear Tommy:                                            From Rev. Bill Simmons: I lost my left arm on
Thank you for the tremendous work you did in           March 9, 2010, above the elbow, leaving only 10"
raising funds for the Dallas Amputee Network           residual. In May I joined the Dallas Amputee
through the Legapalooza XXX event. Your donation       Network and just a short three months later, I was
was directly responsible for our group being able to   headed to my first Amputee Coalition Conference. I
send such a large number of people to the              know that this sounds like a whirlwind and it
Amputee Coalition conference in Kansas City. I         was. However it was the most life-changing
personally benefitted by participating in the          whirlwind that I can imagine. The reason being
Support Group Summit, the Peer Visitor                 that in a very short timeframe after becoming an
Training, seeing the new prosthetic technology         amputee, I had the fortune to learn many, many
and talking to the vendors, and especially by taking   great things that would play an extremely valuable
part in Robert Gailey’s Amputee Sport and              role for the rest of my life. It was like getting a
Performance Enhancement Clinic which may               head start on the rest of my life. Being able to
actually be slightly misnamed; the clinic just plain   come to the 2011 conference was no less
helped everyone learn to walk more efficiently and     important. It solidified the important life changes
effectively! We want you to know your efforts and      of last year and added to the knowledge and skill
your thoughtfulness mean a great deal to all of us.    set necessary to live life as an upper extremity
                                                       amputee. Seeing old friends and meeting new
From Dan Moritz: I had a very enjoyable and            ones is always great, but being among so many
educational experience at the conference this year.    people that share such a life-changing common
Most importantly, I learned about some of the          bond is extra special. I look forward to the regional
newer upper limb technological advances that have      events in the coming year but can't wait until the
become available and some that are still on the        next national Amputee Coalition conference.
horizon and in conceptual stages. I had the
opportunity to talk one-on-one with the guys
responsible for designing new technology at two
prosthetics companies. Rahul Kaliki from Machine       From Bill Sweeney: The conference was very
Technologies out of Baltimore MD and Brad Veatch       informative for both amputee education and
from ToughWare Prosthetics out of Denver               training such as the gait walk. The quality of
CO gave me a lot of information about what they        programs and camaraderie could not be matched
are working on now. Both Brad and Rahul were           elsewhere considering the abundant rehabilitative
interested in any design ideas I might have that       health specialists, e.g., volunteer Physical
would benefit Bilateral Upper Extremity Amputees       Therapists who also provided endurance and
like me. It was a great opportunity and I made         strengthening exercises, and prosthetists who
some new friends. One of the best things about the     provided an array of lifestyle, fitness and health
conference was connecting again with other             information of prosthetic devices. One of the best
amputees from around the country. There is a           conferences I have attended and look forward to it
common bond of shared experiences that keeps           every year. Thanks for everything, Ellen!
people coming back. I sure am glad I was able to
attend the conference.

From Dan Johnsen: I was curious why so many              more efficiently and effectively. We learned to
people (DAN members) seem to want to attend the          walk with the same length step and at the same
Amputee Coalition conference, year after year.           rate on each side, we learned to allow our knee to
When the 2011 conference was announced for               flex and to get up on the toe of our prosthetic foot.
Kansas City, I thought it would be a great               We walked forward, backward and sideways,
opportunity to check it out for myself. And, oh by       rotating our hips and swinging our arms; we
the way, I'm a transplanted Kansas Citian, so it was     learned simple exercises to strengthen the muscles
a chance to visit with my sister and her husband.        inside our sockets. We watched others succeed
                                                         and improve their walking in ways that few would
Faith and I drove and had a pleasant, uneventful         have imagined. And then some of us learned to
trip. After check-in, we had a nice, simple dinner in    run! I haven't run since 1975, but with help of "my"
the hotel restaurant; it was lovely, but the price       physical therapist (Dr. Carla Sabus, Clinical
convinced me that we needed to find some other           Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical
place for our meals! Fortunately there were a lot        Therapy & Rehabilitation Science at the KU Medical
more restaurants of all types and price ranges in        Center) I actually ran. It's still difficult for me to
and near the Crown Center complex.                       believe that I enjoyed doing that, but it was
                                                         tremendous fun and left me with a great sense of
The first day, I participated in the Support Group       accomplishment.
Summit and met the Amputee Coalition leaders
who manage the volunteer programs, as well as            After the conference ended, David Ahrens and I
support group leaders from across the country. We        remained to attend the Peer Visitor Training
learned about the resources available to support         session on Sunday. At the beginning of the class
groups, heard the plans for additional support and       we learned the mantra of an Amputee Coalition
had the opportunity to tell the Amputee Coalition        Peer Visitor and it was reinforced throughout the
what the support groups want from them. It was a         day: "The peer visit is not about me, it is
very worthwhile session.                                 about the person I am visiting." It was a long
                                                         day, but there was a lot of material to cover and
Throughout the conference we all had many                the class built on everything that was presented
opportunities to see new prosthetic technology,          first. As important as learning the right things to
visit with some of the vendors that we already           say and the best way to handle what may be a
knew, and meet other new vendors. It is as close         difficult situation, the students learned a lot about
as most of us ever get to seeing and learning about      what NOT to say and what NOT to do during a
the full range of technology, products, services and     peer visit. Becoming certified by the Amputee
supplies, especially those that our local prosthetist    Coalition required not only passing a knowledge
may not use on an everyday basis.                        test at the end of the course, but passing muster
                                                         with the presenters who observe and evaluate your
Initially, I was disappointed that I couldn't get into   participation, skills and readiness to act as a peer
the "official" Gait Analysis Workshop, but they had      visitor. I found the course to be very worthwhile
a shortage of physical therapists and had to limit       and I learned a great deal about what an Amputee
the number of people who could sign up. I                Coalition Peer Visitor is and is not. And I'm almost
resigned myself to attending Bob Gailey's Amputee        as proud of my certification as I am of my new
Sport and Performance Enhancement Clinic instead,        found running ability. <laugh>
although I have little interest in sports. Wow, what
a stroke of luck that was!                               In the end, I found that the Amputee Coalition
                                                         conference was very worthwhile and I highly
Dr. Robert Gailey is an Associate Professor in the       recommend that any amputee, of any level or
Department of Physical Therapy at the University of      location, attend at least once. You may not feel
Miami, and a dynamic, charismatic speaker. With          the need to go to every conference, but everyone
the help of volunteer therapists from the North          will benefit from something at an Amputee
Georgia College and State University and from the        Coalition conference. Personally, I think I'll skip
University of Kansas Medical Center (Rock Chalk,         the Las Vegas conference, but I imagine I'll be
Jayhawk!), Bob soon had a HUGE room of                   back again someday. Look for me in Bob Gailey's
amputees of all levels, abilities and age walking        clinic...
From Ellen Fernandes: I had not been to an ACA          Julie Hanley from CieAura came to tell us about
Conference for 5 years and it was great to see          a new method for pain relief and general well-
some of my favorite people again—Frieda Borth,          being. CieAura Chips are applied to certain areas of
Ruth Morris, Susan Tipton, Dr. Jeffrey Cain, Kevin      the body (sensitive acupuncture meridian points)
Carroll, Vicki Foster and Kim Duckett, among many       and can result in more energy and stamina, more
others. I was glad that so many of our DAN              restful nights, and better balance. These CieAura
members were able to go this year (15 delegates!)       transparent holographic chips use a proprietary
and for 10 of us, it was the first time to experience   combination of homeopathic formulas consisting of
this wonderful gathering of amputees. The sessions      intrinsic energies that affect positive responses.
we attended were so informative and helpful, and        They allow the body’s defenses to perform at their
the exhibits were very interesting. The companies       peak abilities so one’s own natural immune system
that were represented offered freebies and raffle       is working at full capacity. CieAura Chip users are
drawings. Iliana Calzada won $100 cash from             reporting increased focus and concentration along
Fourroux Prosthetics! The best part for me was          with better feelings and physical abilities, thus the
seeing everyone enjoying themselves doing things        body is able to function at a higher level of health.
they would not ordinarily do, like speeding around      For more information about these chips and their
on a hand-cycle, going wild and uninhibited on a        holographic bracelets, call (469) 867-8727 or go to
dance floor, getting caught up in the music, or
climbing a rock wall. It’s truly amazing to be in a
place where people with all their limbs are in the      Most of the DAN members who attended the ACA
minority, and no matter what kind of amputee you        conference in Kansas City were at the meeting to
encounter, there’s always a smile and an unspoken       tell the group what they experienced and what they
bond that brings us together. It was great to meet      liked the most. During this time Dan Johnsen
people we only knew from phone conversations or         showed videos of the amputee basketball game
e-mails, and even though it was exhausting, it was      some of us attended, with Sondra Petties doing a
sad to see it end. The knowledge gained and the         great job as cheerleader (from her wheelchair!).
new friendships formed made it an unforgettable         She was given an autographed basketball by the
weekend for us all.                                     team in appreciation for her enthusiasm. Also there
                                                        was a video taken with Bill Simmons’ camera of the
                                                        Bob Gailey Gait Enhancement Clinic; many of us
Our Sponsors for 2011:                                  were there, working with Physical Therapists to
                                                        learn how to improve walking with our prostheses.
Strobel & Associates Prosthetics, Inc.                  This was the most helpful session for some of us.
     Plano (972) 516-9538
Tommy Donahue’s Legapalooza Benefit                     Our August meeting will be Monday, August 8th,
Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc.                    at the Spring Creek BBQ in Richardson. Kim
    Dallas, Garland, Plano (972) 226-6496               Duckett and Mark Dahle from Fourroux
Synergy Orthotics & Prosthetics                         Prosthetics located in Huntsville, Alabama, will be
     Plano, Dallas (972) 769-8344                       here to talk about their special offer to prospective
Excell Orthotics & Prosthetics-                         amputee clients: they pay for transportation getting
    Denton (940) 243-4198                               to and from their facility, plus lodging while the
Doug Brooks, CEO of Brinker International               prosthetic is being made, and they guarantee that
    and Limbs for Life Board Member                     you’ll be completely satisfied before you go home.
J C Penney Community Service Award
M-Power Prosthetics and Orthotics                       VALUABLE RESOURCES
    Dallas (214) 265- 5060                              REACH of Dallas 214-630-4796
Advanced Arm Dynamics of Texas, LLC                     Network of Community Ministries 972-234-8880
    Dallas (214) 260-3197                               Easter Seals Bridgette Androtti 972-939-3900
ALLTECH O&P – Burleson, Desoto,                         Angel Food Ministries 1-877-366-3646
     Granbury (972) 709-6070                            DARS- Sandra Prodhomme 214-778-4950
United Access – Garland (972) 240-8839                  Limbs For Life- Craig Gavras 1-888-235-5462


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