BENEFITING: Amputee Coalition
I’ve worked for the Amputee Coalition for the past six years. Over that time, I’ve met thousands of amputees, and I’ve seen firsthand and heard story after story of how the programs and services the Amputee Coalition offers have positively impacted someone’s life.
I work primarily on legislative issues, and several years ago, I met a man in his late 30’s in Maryland who had lost his leg in a car accident and who woke up from a coma after several days in the hospital to find that he had lost his right leg above the knee. He was in a wheel chair, and when we talked about why he didn’t have a prosthetic device to be able to walk, he told me that when he had his first consult with his doctors and asked about how he would be able to walk again, he was informed that his insurance company would only be able to pay $2,500 toward the cost of his prosthetic leg. When he asked how much the leg would cost he was given an estimate of about $40,000. This would mean he would have to come up with $37,500 to get the device he needed to be able to walk again, which he said he just couldn’t afford.
When the Amputee Coalition passed a law in Maryland in 2009 requiring insurance companies to provide adequate coverage for prosthetic devices, the same man called me 6 months after the law was signed because he wanted to express his gratitude for changing his life. When we passed that law, his insurance company went from only paying $2,500 for a prosthetic device, to covering 80% of the cost (the same as what Medicare covers). Because of that law, he now only needed to pay $8,000 out of pocket to get the device he needed. Because of the law we passed, he said he was now able to afford the device and that since he got his prosthetic leg, he was now able to return to work, and he was walking everywhere he could and wasn’t taking a single step for granted.
Stories like this and seeing how we’ve changed someone’s life firsthand are why I’m passionate about the work that I do with the Amputee Coalition. Any support that you can provide will help us to grow the organization so that we can continue to change even more people’s lives.