For some people, a chance life event can change everything. Injury or disease may require amputation- the loss of a limb. But not necessarily a loss of your game. In this episode, you’ll hear the story of these special athletes, the coaches that inspire them, and the doctors and that heal them.
We begin at a basketball clinic held at the Mission Bay campus of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). As we walk in, there’s a heated scrimmage between members of the Golden State Warriors Coaching staff and members of a basketball team calledAMP1. AMP1 is a basketball team composed of players from all over the country, all of whom are amputees. They practice on their own, and then fly in to play games or run clinics, like those organized by the Amputee Comprehensive Training (ACT) Program at UCSF.
People of all ages and backgrounds came to participate in this clinic. We hear some of their stories and why they came to participate. The overriding theme is that the participants enjoyed meeting other people like themselves- other people with prosthetic legs. They really benefit from being in a supportive community that makes them feel safe trying new things- things they haven’t done in some time. It’s also nice to get some support from the local professional basketball team and to get a high-five from Warriors coach and former NBA player, Luke Walton.
After getting an experience of what it’s like to play high performance sports as an amputee, Alex takes us on a tour of the facility at UCSF where custom prosthetics are made. He’s tells us about the process of working together with patients, and helping them achieve their goals. They’re not just looking to walk again, but rather they want to play sports, go hiking, swimming, and/or many other activities that most of us take for granted.
In this month’s episode, we learn about how prosthetics are personalized to the individual amputee. In doing so, we gain some insight into the personal connection between patient and prosthetic. Although there may be some parallels between prosthetics and mechanical things like bikes, Alex and his colleagues see each prosthetic as an extension of an individual.
To hear more about these stories, and about how modern technology combined with old school heart and desire are helping amputees stand-up and shoot for their dreams, tune in to this month’s episode of Bone Lab Radio.
Music: I am Running Down a Long Hallway - Chris Zabriskie, Along The Hwy - Alex Fitch, Viper - Ray Rude
Artwork: Michelle Woronowicz
Production: Jeannie Bailey, Jennifer Fish, Jenny Qi, Kate Woronowicz
Episode 4 - Life and Limb by The Bone Lab is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.