A study conducted in 2016 found that there are approximately 300 thousand adult Canadians affected by limb loss. In the US, there is an average of 500 people that undergo amputations every year. They expect that by 2050, there will be 3.6 million people affected with limb loss in the US alone.
Here is Canada, the numbers are rising as well. However, how data is collected needs improvement in order to have a more accurate and up-to-date numbers. This is one of the reasons we adopted Limb Loss Awareness Month here in Toronto – to bring awareness to the limb loss community.
This has been the busiest April Limb Loss Awareness Month that we have seen in Canada. Below are the highlights:
Both Mayor John Tory of the City Toronto and Mayor Marianne Meed-Ward of the City of Burlington proclaimed April as Limb Loss Awareness Month in their respected cities.
Mayor John Tory (Toronto) and Mayor Fred Eisenberger of the City of Hamilton also helped spread awareness through their Twitter profiles.
Both Toronto and Hamilton 3D signs were lit orange to help spread awareness, which inspired the City of Montreal and the City of Winnipeg to do the same for their cities.
Our biggest accomplishment is having Canada’s monument, the CN Tower, lit orange for Limb Loss Awareness Month.
Inform and Educate
Part of bringing awareness is also educating and informing on the ground. Our members attended a Running Clinic and Limb Loss Awareness Education Day at Ottobock Canada head quarters.
In collaboration with Sunnybrook St. John’s Rehab centre, they hosted a Limb Loss Awareness Lunch and Learn in April. Speakers included Dr. Mayo to share the ongoing research in amputee care and member of Canadian National Sitting Volleyball Team Member, Darek Symonowicz. He shared his amputation journey and being selected to represent Canada in the games.
Ontario Association for Amputee Care 2019 Conference
And what a perfect way to end Limb Loss Awareness Month, albeit the first weekend of May, with the Ontario Association for Amputee Care 2019 Conference. The 2-day event was held on May 3 and 4, bringing clinicians across Ontario and parts of Canada to discuss the innovations in amputee care for Canadians. We were lucky enough to have a booth at the event and got to connect with many clinicians.
This is also the fist time that the conference offered a Patients’ Day for amputees and their families to attend session geared specifically for them. There were motivational speaking sessions, try-it session and even amputee yoga!
We also had the opportunity to present what the Amputee Coalition of Toronto has been up to and the work that we’ve done as a support group and advocacy since we began in 2017.
Advocate. Educate. Empower
Overall, a great April Limb Loss Awareness Month, and we think it’s the biggest we have done so far in the two years we had been around. Limb Loss Awareness, however doesn’t stop simply because it is already May. Limb Loss Awareness and advocacy continues everyday and here at the Amputee Coalition of Toronto, we make sure we do that every day – Advocate, Educate, Empower.
Amputee Coalition of Toronto welcomes all amputees in Toronto and the surrounding GTA to join our support group for more information on monthly meetups, upcoming events, and a safe space to share your journey. We’re in this together!