Amputee Blade Runners provides free running blades/sports legs to amputees. Quality prosthetic care is vital to the health of an amputee, and access to appropriate care for active amputees is often a challenge.
Approximately 80% amputations performed in the US are for elderly individuals with dysvascular disease. Consequently, the entire industry focuses on this population. Those with amputations due to cancer, infection, and congenital conditions are offered prostheses designed with another’s needs in mind. What is best for a 70 year old is not typically best for a 7 year old. Insurance companies deem running blades to be “not medically necessary,” effectively telling active amputees they should be happy to walk and neither try nor hope for more. Children with disabilities are nearly twice as likely as their peers to be overweight or obese. Adults with disabilities are more than 50% less likely to engage in leisure activities than their peers. Sports have been shown to be beneficial physically and psycho-socially.
In 2018 ABR provided care to 42 new amputees and over 100 total amputees. Services are provided to amputees of all ages, but the majority of athletes are children, who outgrow their equipment within a year or two.
ABR is primarily a volunteer driven organization. Prosthetists, techs, and other burn the midnight oil to make new legs. The cost to purchase and fabricate the legs and related equipment is about $3,500 for new athletes, or $1,900 for new and existiing athletes combined. Equipment costs make up the majority of the annual expenses.