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When you see the "i heart", look for a hidden inspirational message

  by clicking on it. 

We are so very proud and fortunate to have such a talented group of writers on our volunteer staff.  All of them are amputees and they know what it is like to have the pain, disappointment and lack of patience that amputees can experience from time to time.  They are now on the other side of those challenges and are able to reflect on them in their writings.  Each person on our staff is passionate about helping others - their wish is that by reading this blog other's will see a brighter future and dreams will be fulfilled.  Our hope is that their inspirational writings will help you in your quest for a better life.

 LuAnn Kleemeyer 

My story ~ I am the victim of a accident that you hear about, but think, "That never happens". In 2007 I was on my Harley Low Rider, slowing to a stop . In the lane next to me was a semi carrying a track-hoe and it was coming to fast down the hill. The track-hoe was not chained down correctly and as the driver slammed on the brakes to stop, it slide, broke free, fell off the trailer, and landed on me and my bike. As we slide down the street, I somehow ended up on the curb and the track-hoe pinned me but my leg was gone. The miracle was that if it had not pinned me to the curb I probably would have bled to death. God saved me that day and that is the only possible answer as to why I am here today. I feel strongly that I was saved to give back to others and hope my experiences can help others thrive.

So...I am a right, (very high) above knee amputee that has refused to change her lifestyle. If anything I have "amped" it up even more. I have traveled extensively: taking a 10 day African Safari, touring England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, white water rafting and hot air balloon ride in Co. and water skied with AmpUSki in Winter Park, Fl. If you put your mind to it, it can be done! 

In my spare time I am a Certified Peer Visitor for A.C.A., attend Quincy University, facilitate bible studies for Madison Park Christian Church, facilitate the Quincy, Illinois Amputee Support Group, swim with the Masters Swim Class at the Y, travel, and spoil my four Grand-children: Collin, Lily, Brinley, and Lucy who are the loves of my life. Life Is Good!



Carolyn McKinzie, LPN

    Carolyn McKinzie, 48, was born and raised in Maine.  A 25 year nurse, she lost her right lower leg following a crushing injury in an auto accident in 1998.  She was eventually able to return to nursing and currently works as a rehab nurse at a long term care facility in Augusta, Maine.  She has also worked in med/surg, correctional health, developmental disabilities and dialysis.
      Carolyn has been involved with amputee peer support and advocacy with Hanger’s Amputee Empowerment Partners as both a peer visitor and peer trainer.  She has also been active with the Amputee Coalition of America, attending national lobby day in Washington, DC in September 2009.  She is a freelance writer for the Amputee Coalition and has written several articles for their various publications.  Carolyn also speaks publicly to various groups about her own personal experience in becoming an amputee and the emotional hurdles she faced, despite being a nurse.  She will soon be contributing to a blog for, an organization supporting nurses working with disabilities.
       In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys writing, playing guitar and spending time with family and friends. She has a grown son, Trevor, and lives with her cat, Maxwell.

B. Neil Brown

    B Neil Brown is an author, writer and triple amputee who lives in Western Kentucky. He is an avid motorcycle rider, a retired Fire Fighter/EMT, and a Certified Entomologist. When not riding his bike or spending time with his son Neil can be found attending college working towards a degree in Physical Therapy or designing and fabricating his own custom prosthetic digits.

Neil maintains a blog at where he has documented his progress since becoming a bilateral trans-tibial and partial hand amputee. His book "Stand Tough" is due for release in early 2014.

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 Christopher Bowman

Hi everyone,
    My name is Christopher Bowman. I am a 37-year-old lower right leg amputee.  I was born, and reside in Michigan.  I was born with a birth defect called Amniotic Band Syndrome, which caused my leg and parts of five fingers to not fully develop.  I also have a clubbed left foot, and cleft lip and palate.
    I have been active all my life and use a prosthetic 100% of the time.  I enjoy hiking, cycling, writing, and spending time with my daughter and my dog. In fact, in September of 2013 I became the first person ever to cycle the entire length of the new Great Lake to Lake Trail from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.  It was an honor to be part of that project.
    I also enjoy spreading a message of positivity and resolve that my mother taught to me at an early age.  She always told me, “Life is what you make it.”  I believe this helped me get to the point in my life where I am today, a point where I feel I am able to give something back to the community of amputees and others who face physical or mental obstacles in pursuit of their dreams.
    If I could share my motto with everyone it is this: “Keep moving forward.”

 Mark Ferrell


    Hi, my name is Mark, I was born and raised in southwest VA but after zigzagging half way across the country, currently reside in Bellevue, NE with my wonderful wife Teresa and our lil min pin Nacho.  I am a RBK amputee, having lost my lower right leg and elbow when I was hit and actually killed by a train in 1992 while trying to rescue a girl who had fallen crossing the tracks on a local walking trail.  After months of rehab and therapy I began rebuilding myself physically and gradually working my way back into my favorite hobbies as well as discovering new ones I love very much along the way.  

    I am very active; enjoying mt biking, skateboarding, BMXing, long boarding, swimming and hiking, to name a few of my beloved activities.  Life is what you make of it and I am a firm believer that living life as an amputee means adaptation not diminishment.  

 Chrissy V.

    Chrissy is a forty something year old military spouse and mother. She works full time as a counselor for wounded warriors. She was raised by wolves in Alaska and only recently was convinced to try to live as a human being in a state called Kansas.
    Chrissy V decided to amputate below the left knee due to recurring non-cancerous tumors and after years of intolerable pain leading to multiple surgeries. She feels the amputation took away her disability. She is now unafraid to try new things. Her most recent adventure is into the world of kickboxing for health. Her husband is currently deployed but better watch out when he returns. She plans on beating his time in the Warrior Dash!

Da Nekidgoat

    I am a published author and poet. I was born in a small town in North Carolina and I write of my life and experiences. I started writing late in my life, when I was 49 years old. But my perspective on life remains young and relevant. I write of individuality, revolution, love and broken hearts.  My book is called Scenes From A Chair The Book.

Here is a link to my book.

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