Larry Gardner to the aid of Canadian amputees
My name is Larry Gardner, and I have been an above knee amputee for over thirty years. I lost my left leg as a result of a motorcycle accident during the summer of 1974.
A couple of years later, I became involved in disabled sports as an amputee swimmer and skier. I also learned how to ride a bicycle and motorcycle again, as well as learning how to water ski on one leg.
My attitude from the beginning has always been that "can't" is not in my vocabulary. This attitude helped me adjust to my amputation as well as assisting me in earning many medals as a competitive swimmer. I strongly encourage new amputees to never let anybody tell them that they can't do something. Where there's a will, there's always a way.
To further communicate this message to new amputees, I created a resource/personal website to provide information and links to other amputee related websites, in the hope that through reading about my experiences, I would be able to provide inspiration to others in the same situation. Losing a limb is not the end of the world. Current technology combined with a positive attitude can make the adjustment to life as an amputee much easier. GET OUT AND PLAY!!
My website, located at WWW.AMPUTEE.CA, provides links to many amputee and disability related websites, and some good stories about my experiences and those of other amputees. Please feel free to submit your own amputee story for publishing online.
As we slowly count down to the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics in 2010, my goal (as a Vancouver resident) is to become more involved in the promotion of sport for the disabled, and to become involved specifically in the promotion of this exciting event through the internet, and to increase my involvement in local organizations.
Although it is well over 25 years since my days as a disabled competitor, today I remain active as a mountain biker, skier and swimmer. I hope that my level of activity can provide a little inspiration to the new amputee, with so many challenges to overcome.
For the complete story of my paralympic experiences, complete with photos and video, please be sure to visit my site. I would truly love to hear from other amputees regarding their experiences and challenges regarding their own amputations.
When dealing with the loss of a limb, it is important to remember that it's not what happens to you in life, it's what you choose to do about it. If life hands you some lemons, make some lemonade! If you end up with a bunch of tomatoes, make a nice sauce, have a glass of wine and enjoy!