Amputee Needs in the Spotlight

By: Charles House II Email
By: Charles House II Email

HARRISONBURG, VA-- After the Dancing With the Stars finale, very capable amputees are in the spotlight recently. However, not many have access to high-end prosthetics, and struggle to achieve the same standard of living as an able-bodied person.

Currently, no insurance pays for specialized prosthetics, like those used by athletes like Oscar Pistorius and Amy Purdy. Only medical necessities are covered by insurance, limiting even those with good health coverage to standard walking prosthetics. We spoke with an amputee in the area who is trying to raise awareness of this issue, and get change the way amputees are seen by insurance.

"What's important to understand is that specialized prosthetics give us access to quality of life activities we once enjoyed. With insurance companies only covering what's medically necessary, amputees are left to foot the bill, often in the tens of thousands of dollars," said Lelia Graham of Harrisonburg.

Lelia is currently raising funds for a new limb that would allow her access to water. You can find the fundraiser at and other information on the issues of insurance and cost of prosthetics at and is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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