As humans, it seems like it is almost built in that we take things for granted. Until we face losing it, either temporarily or for good.
I woke up from my ACL surgery with my leg in a brace that held my knee straight. 24 hours later, I was at the physical therapist's office. She put me on a stationary bike and told me to pedal. I couldn't. 26 years of walking; probably 20 of those riding bikes, and I couldn't bend my knee enough to make one lousy revolution on the bike. I was lucky. In a only a few months, I was up and moving again and able to make a full recovery.
That experience made the possibility of the reality of losing mobility for good feel real. I felt lost. I felt helpless. I quickly lost the invincible feeling that many get in their early 20's. I felt very mortal. I couldn't hike, climb, or ski: the things I do to keep my sanity; the things that make me feel like me. I couldn't drive anywhere. Leaving the house on my own was out of the question. It was a struggle that required signifigant planning just to get out of bed to feed myself or just go to the bathroom. The worst of that lasted only a few days for me.
Some people aren't so lucky. What was my temporary situation is their everyday reality. The technology is available. Prosthetics are avilable that enable amputees to walk, run, climb, and lead their everday lives. The problem is the cost. Prosthetics are not cheap. People in developing countries often dont have access or the money for what they need.
This is where ROMP (Range of Motion Project) comes in. The founders of ROMP believe that "amputees are not disabled by a missing limb, but a missing prosthesis." ROMP doesn't just provide affordable prosthesis, they also aim to empower amputees. That is why so much of their fundraising is focused around outdoor pursuits such as climbing, running, and biking.
Every year, ROMP sponsors climbs around the globe. These climbs occur in countries around the globe. Amputees and full bodied people climb together to raise both awareness and money to provide more prostheses for more people who need them. ROMP is able to provde a prosthetic for someone in need for only $500.
Anchorage will be hosting its third climb for ROMP later this month. If you feel inspired or compelled to help, this is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your mobility while sharing that gift with others who aren't so lucky.
Three Ways You Can Help
If you are into climbing mountains (especially for a good cause!) and are available at 5:30 pm July 26, join Lindsay and register to climb Rainbow Peak! The registration fee includes Mooses Tooth pizza and beer post hike.
If climbing mountains isn't your thing, or you aren't available for this year's climb (like myself), you can support this year's climbers with a monetary donation of any amount.
If you don't feel like donating right now, that's ok. If you want to support this cause, share this post and spread the word!