If you’re stumped about what to buy that won’t cost you an arm & and a leg … well, let’s just stop right there. Perspective?
For many, that’s not a joke. What if you were born that way? Stumped, physically. Or imagine dealing with an amputation as a teen, with a helicopter parent or clueless guardian … or going through puberty AND trying to fit in at school (if you weren’t already feeling like a hostage trapped at home due to a pandemic)!
Not so easy – right?
At the Prosthetix Shop, we’ve had the sincere privilege of meeting some truly exceptional people living with limb loss, but the kids who’ve ADAPTED to a life of prosthetic arms and legs from the get-go, and the amputee teens who’ve championed unscripted #livingmybestlife paths, often do so with a remarkable zest that challenges every expectation of reality.
Turns out courage & exploration can win the day over limitations.
So, for all our beloved amputee kids & teens … who’s ready to shop?!
*Disclaimer: the following are examples, not endorsements for specific products or brands. Some gift ideas are relevant for upper limb amputees, while others apply to those living with lower limb loss.
It’s All Fun & Games:
- Hoverboards – Hoverboards are cool, but can you balance on “one leg”? Meet Delaney Dunlap, and look closely at that photo. This girl is an all-star amputee (gymnast, dancer, soccer & softball player, etc.); but even she gets tired sometimes. Hello hoverboard. This is her resting state. LOL
*Note: Delaney is a special guest contributor on this blog. Please see below for more info and be on the lookout for *Delaney recommendations in the list below.
- Limb-different Dolls:
- Adaptive Game Controllers – Guitar Hero, Xbox, bum controller, hands-free, custom, & more options!
Vacation or Staycation?
- Never Say Never Pirate Camp – An adaptive sporting camp, beachside in FL – this is a highly recommended adventure born out of a friendship of two amputees: (Regis’ journey began at 2 years old and Nick’s at 25). They bonded over a desire to help other amputees live life to the fullest – learning to rig and sail many kinds of boats; racing, kayaking, water battles and more (including dressing up as pirates, of course). Their vision = to help children and young adults with challenges in their lives to overcome adversity with a positive attitude and to understand that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. (*Delaney recommendation) According to Delaney Dunlap, “Normal people were the odd men out.”
- Camp No Limits – The No Limits Foundation is a non-profit organization 501 (c)(3) providing camps for children with limb loss and differences. The camp aims to provide education, mentorship, and support to these children and their families. Camp locations include: Maine, Missouri, Maryland, Florida, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, California, and Connecticut. Certified therapists & prosthetists, adult amputees, and various organizations are available at each camp.
- Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship – Committed to improving the lives of individuals impacted by disabilities and unique challenges through equine assisted services. Contact Beth Compton, Executive Director, for more info at: [email protected]. They currently have a bilateral above-the-knee amputee riding with the Adaptive Recreational Riding group, (led by instructors certified by PATH.) Groups typically include 4-5 riders for 8 weeks and currently cost $50 an hour. Note: there is a maximum riding weight limit of 175 lbs. Other options are available, including PT & OT guided hippotherapy, as well as Family Fun with Horses. Call (513) 831-7050 for more information.
What to Wear:
- Socket Socks! – A designer, dressmaking amputee created this company because she wasn’t happy with the prosthetic leg she was handed, post-surgery, that “looked like a band-aid”. She’d been “through too much” to settle for that. You can choose from ready-made designs (beginning at $29 each), or place a custom order.
“When my 6 year old received your covers, she said to me for the first time since losing her legs “I can’t wait to put my legs on.” – Mia’s Mom
- Funny T-shirts for Amputees with a Sense of Humor – If you search for funny amputee t-shirts, you’ll find plenty of humor out there & suppliers too! We recognize that living with limb loss is NOT funny; however, many of our patients and friends have relied on comic relief to offset the very serious challenges they face on a daily basis. (*Delaney recommendation)
- Josh Sundquist – Paralympic athlete, author & motivational speaker. He was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at age 9 and given a 50% chance to live. He later became a Paralympic Ski team member and U.S. Amputee Soccer player. He’s a best-selling author whose 3 books are available on his website (including one that’s under development for a movie). (*Delaney recommendation)
- Amputee Coalition: Understanding Limb Loss – Great list of books for all ages, including coloring books!
- The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen – It’s hard to argue with nearly 27,000 people who gave it an average 4.31/5 star rating! (*Delaney recommendation)
Just for Fun:
Missing a limb or none? Everyone just wants to have fun! Not to mention … receive a gift they actually want! Right?
- Squishmallows Anyone? – Gotta admit, not the average stuffed animal. Super cute & unbelievably soft!! With more than 1,000 Squishmallows plush characters in circulation, each one reflects their own interests, hobbies, sports, aspirations, emotions, name, and storyline. Obsession understood. (*Delaney recommendation)
- Just Add Embroidery – Want to add a special touch to your holiday gift? Personalized gifts definitely send the message, “I love you!” Call (513) 561-1916 and ask for Therese. Tell her we sent you, and she’ll guide you all the way. Order from JAE’s suppliers or bring in your own (clothes, stockings, bags, etc.) for custom embroidery (monograms, inside jokes, etc.). Holiday cutoff for single (not group) embroidery orders is 12/21/21.
SPECIAL GUEST CONTRIBUTOR:
Delaney Dunlap, daughter of Mike & Gina Dunlap in Loveland, Ohio, was born with Fibular Hemimelia and had a below-the-knee amputation around 15 months old!
A thriving 12-year-old girl now, she knows a little something about what it’s like to be an amputee. Stay tuned for more on Delaney’s amazing adventures as an inspirational, multi-sport athlete and aspiring actress soon to be on the “big screen”, no doubt. Her “let’s do it” personality is contagious, and we’re excited to share more of her story. For now, she’s jumped in (yes, she can do that & more … with “one leg”) to give you some shopping tips! Thanks Delaney!! You are truly amazing!! And a proper nod to her awesome parents as well!
Of special note, Delaney is the recipient of a prosthetic grant through Amputee Blade Runners in Nashville, TN. For more info, visit amputeebladerunners.com.
In Case You Missed It:
**Ask an Expert:
Many amputees need ongoing prosthetic care. If you or a loved one is in need, Prosthetix Shop can help. Prosthetix Shop specializes in custom fabrication of lower and upper limb prosthesis.
Please also contact Prosthetix Shop with any gift purchase questions you may have. We can likely provide guidance regarding best practices for prosthetic legs and arms (including measuring & care tips.)
Just call us at (513) 843-5126 or email us at [email protected].
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