celebrate-limb-loss-difference-monthIt doesn’t come with a lot of shirts or ribbons but today, the Amputee Coalition launches its fifth year of Limb Loss Awareness Month. This year, the organization is looking to help prevent older adults from amputations by checking for possible circulatory problems in feet. It’s not the focus many families have when it comes to limb loss or limb differences. At the same time, the Lucky Fin Project is sharing a separate campaign this month for Limb Difference Awareness. The focus is to “celebrate, educate, support, unite.”

So is this all about semantics or can all people with amputations or congenital differences recognize this month together? Do we need different names or can we just take the time to celebrate everyone?

Last week, I asked Born Just Right readers what they think about the name “Limb Loss Awareness Month.” I recently realized the term “limb difference” sounds strange to some adult amputees when I was talking to an amputee page on Reddit. I honestly hadn’t even thought about it sounding strange. But the reaction gave me perspective. My feelings about the word “loss” are similar to how some people feel about “difference.” You may read this site because you are linked to the world of amputations or congenital difference. You may read this to celebrate all differences and only know the world of differently size limbs and prosthetics from this website. But I know we all can learn from each other. I wanted to hear what others think. Here’s a few perspectives:

“If loss is only defined by actually removing appendages, then, no loss doesn’t apply to me. But, if it encompasses the loss of normalcy, then I would agree that one overall group makes sense. I tend to lean towards the latter. I may not know life with ten fingers, but I remember my missing digits every time I struggle to hold a fork and cut meat, balance a cup of coffee while opening a door or have to stick my thumb in my yogurt to keep it from sliding across the table while I eat. Sometimes, I think we need to be able to say that we have a loss/limitation, etc. because there’s a bit of freedom in the admission. I’m not saying that to negate that we’re Born Just Right – just that my version of right has challenges unique to me and I think that those challenges could fairly be labeled as a loss to some extent.” – Christne McMinn

“You say tomato, I say Limb Difference. ;-) ” -John Wong

“I feel like we’re all in it together. Wether you are a congenital amputee, have ectrodacltly, symbrodactlyl, radial dysplasia… It’s a community. We all understand each other to some degree. Like a group of new moms. They all know what it’s like to have a baby, but each baby is different and unique.” -Jessica Barbary

Here’s a look at the full conversation:

As we head rapidly toward April, we have a chance to recognize “Limb Loss Awareness Month” which has always included the…

Posted by Born Just Right on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I don’t really have answers. But I believe we can learn from each other, whatever we call this month. I hope I can spend time this month offering resources available to everyone – no matter how we came to understand this world that often includes therapies, prosthetics and incredible kindness and support.

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before-after-going-grayI have spent years helping encourage Jordan to be herself. Be proud. Don’t hide. As I’ve focused on those lessons, I’ve spent a consistent amount of time hiding something about me: My hair color. I started going gray when I was 18. That was a while ago and through the years, my hair has gotten whiter and whiter around my face. It got so consistently glowy, I had to dye my hair every three to four weeks.

I’m not someone who has a lot of time to keep up with hair color. It stressed me out. I would get angry at myself for allowing it to continue. So this past December, I just quit. I started wearing headbands to hide the distinct line between the gray and brownish dye color in my hair. I wanted a solution. I really wasn’t sure what was the solution.

I had mentioned to my boss how I was working on going gray. She told me how our video team at AARP was hoping to do a video about going gray. It was a perfect fit. I got to be in a video about going gray.

I had a chance to work with Katy at Cristophe Salon in DC while the AARP team shot a video with Barbara Hannah Grufferman’s The Best of Everything YouTube series. With the help of my awesome friend, Sara, we told the story of my day of how #JenGoesGray on social media. Here’s how it went:

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A Disney On Ice-Inspired Elsa

March 6, 2015

Not to outdo our big #DisneySide party last weekend, Jordan and I also traversed through messy post-snow highways to see one of the final St. Louis showings of Frozen Disney on Ice. As I’ve mentioned before, Jordan has realized a connection with Elsa. In the movie, the snow queen’s frozen powers lead her to hide from the […]

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Sharing our #DisneySide with a pile of kids

March 5, 2015

It’s my second year sharing a really fun party focused on all things Disney. We received free products in order to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration from Disney Parks and Mom Select. The opinions expressed here are my own. If anything, our love of Disney became incredibly clear last year. We had a chance to visit Walt Disney World […]

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Looking up to Zach Hodskins

February 25, 2015

Basketball is a big part of our life during this time of the year. Jordan loves the challenge. She loves being on defense. She is starting to understand the intricacies of the game. She’s grown a lot as a player. I also knew there are mentors in the basketball world. I met Kevin Laue in late […]

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That overwhelming moment

February 20, 2015

We are a busy family. If you add in our activities and travel and my work travel, a few things have been ignored lately: I am not exercising enough and the house is a total mess. No, not like the Hoaders show. But there are piles everywhere. The house feels like it’s kind of closing in […]

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Prosthetics do not change everything

February 19, 2015

The awesome expansion of the eNABLE program has made it possible for more and more children to have access to the experience of wearing a prosthetic hand. The media loves it. As someone who used to work in the tv news world, I love the story: A cute child has a chance to flex a […]

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In need of a new helper arm

February 18, 2015

I sent Jordan off to school with her helper arm on this morning. I don’t think that’s going to happen much longer this school year. The combination of bulky sleeves and the fact she keeps growing… Her arm is officially uncomfortable and doesn’t fit. We’ve always built a new one every 18 months or so. But […]

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A “wonderland” of prosthetics

February 13, 2015

Last week I had a chance to spend time with the largest prosthetic company in the United States, Hanger, Inc. Each year, the company has many of its technicians from across the country meet in Las Vegas to learn about the latest in prosthetic and orthotic technology. They also have an expo filled with vendors that […]

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A new one-handed basketball season

January 27, 2015

“That little girl with one hand can really play,” exclaimed a man sitting a few seats down from me during Jordan’s first game of the season. I was beaming with pride. Jordan is a basketballer. She really is. And I’m proud of how she played in her first game of the season. Jordan worked to get […]

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One-handed hair styling

January 26, 2015

It seems like it was forever ago… I was sitting in a gym with Jordan at Camp No Limits when she was three-years-old watching our friend Lizzie show off how she can put her hair into a pony tail with one hand and her little arm. I watched in awe, shot video and thought how […]

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Running Disney and merging my Born Just Right world

January 22, 2015

I started running when Jordan was a toddler. I needed something for me. A healthy outlet. Eventually I learned the joy of running outside. At some point, I even got rid of the headphones and started to appreciate the quiet. I rarely run with other people. It’s me time. It’s peaceful. My world is non-stop […]

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Finding Nemo at Art of Animation Resort

January 16, 2015

We’ve used Nemo as a teacher when it comes to Jordan’s little arm ever since she was a baby. When Cameron’s school friends were super confused about how it could be possible Jordan has a tiny arm… I’d remind the kids about Nemo’s lucky fin and everything would be okay. So, when my brother told […]

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A fun run that could make an impact

January 15, 2015

At the very end of the year, you helped make it possible for us to send TEN kids to Camp No Limits. It’s pretty awesome. But since we had such a good year for fundraising, I figure we could easily kick off the new year with a chance to raise some more? Imagine having the […]

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Turning the volume up on music lessons

January 14, 2015

Jordan is in her second year of piano and recently graduated from her beginner book. It’s time to take her skills to a new level. But that’s when her teacher asked her the question: Does she want move to the next level learning in a one-handed piano-playing style or does she want to continue with her […]

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