Have you ever wondered how you can contribute to the prosthetic community? There are several organizations and causes that could use your help. Here’s a quick look at a few prosthetic centered charities and how to get involved.
The True Cost of a Prosthetic Limb
For those on the outside, seeing an individual with a prosthetic limb makes us instantly self-aware of the privilege of having all working limbs. What we often don’t think about are the costs associated with a new prosthetic limb, as well as resources to help amputees recover.
According to Hospital for Special Surgery, the average prosthetic limb can cost anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $100,000. This amount of money unexpectedly is certainly a large burden for an individual. Thankfully, medical insurance covers almost all costs associated with obtaining a prosthetic limb. But what about those individuals without insurance?
Thankfully, organizations such as Steps of Faith offer emotional, physical, and financial support to amputees without insurance. Their goal is to help amputees in obtaining their prosthetic and adjusting to their new lifestyle
The Exception to the Rule
Not all prosthetics are made the same. Prosthetics that are labeled as “recreational” are not covered by insurance. This includes prosthetics needed for activities like swimming, running and even kayaking.
While there are many sports organizations for amputees to take part in, they still have to overcome the financial obstacles of acquiring a recreational prosthetic. There are many charities centered around helping amputees continue their active lifestyles. For example, Amputee Blade Runners is a nonprofit organization that helps provide free running prosthetics for amputees.
Did you know that, in the United States, it is illegal to donate prosthetics? Because they are considered medical devices, it’s unlawful to pass one prosthetic designed specifically to an individual then give it another individual.
Most charities that do accept prosthetic donations are located overseas. Excel works with Prosthetic Hope International based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Excel send donations as well as, collects used parts from patients and sends them to the organization for distribution.
There are also resources for those who are interested in making contributions for those in the United States. Bowman Siciliano Limb Bank Foundation is based out of Weatherford, TX. They collaborate at times with other foundations to assist in countries outside the U.S. and prosthetic labs across the U.S.
If you or someone you know is looking to contribute to a prosthetic charity, or are looking for more information, The Amputee Coalition is an extremely insightful resource. There are hundreds of prosthetic charities. You can learn more about them here.