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Nonprofit aiming to support amputees opens in Parkersburg

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 9:41 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A nonprofit with a mission of supporting amputees and spreading limb-loss awareness had its grand opening Tuesday.

It’s called The Amputee Center. It’s meant to be not only a place for amputees to get support, but also a place to gather.

The center’s president Nancy Miller said, “There’s no place for amputees to meet. There’s places for elite training for the paralympics, there’s support groups that meet here and there, but there’s not a place that amputees can come and feel like it’s theirs.”

The support is offered in many different forms - from physical to emotional.

The facility offers personal training, group fitness classes, line-dancing, and more. Modifications are available for most of the fitness classes.

The center also offers emotional support services for amputees and their families from workshops to one on one consultations to reiki energy healing sessions.

Both aspects are meant to help amputees reach their goals.

Board Director Curtis Thomas knows first hand how important this is.

“The biggest things that I did when I - when I first lost my leg was to set goals - short term goals, long terms goals,” he said.

Thomas has been an amputee for two years. He’s also a paramedic.

“One of my short term goals was to get back on the ambulance within six months and within six months I was back on the ambulance.”

Thomas said getting to know other amputees was a part of what motivated him to reach his goals.

“To see what they guys who have been amputees longer than me or the same amount of time as me - to see what they’ve been able to accomplish and use that to really kind of motivate me and help me set those goals so we want to be able to do that on an even bigger basis now.”

The Amputee Center is offering a monthly support group and peer to peer visits to accomplish that motivating personal connection.

Miller hopes the center makes amputees feel less alone.

She said, “A lot of times if they have an amputation or are thinking about it they don’t get out - they don’t know anyone else. I want them to just meet another person - just to know that they’re not alone, to get tips and tricks and tricks from that other person.”

Thomas said there may be a lot to figure out and adapt to for amputees but there’s nothing they can’t do.

The Amputee Center isn’t just for amputees, although it’s only free for amputees.

The center is situated next to Joann.

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