Is this how you test out a new socket?
by David Miller
Loveland, Ohio – In October Gina Rohdenburg and her daughter Delaney met a guy named Daryl Farler on the beach in South Carolina who works with ABR (Amputee Blade Runners). Gina said, “A guy who is a prosthetist happened to be next to us on the beach. Crazy but he told me about this grant and said they would love to help Delaney.”
Gina followed up and things moved fast. Her daughter Delaney Dunlap, 11 and in 6th grade at the Loveland Intermediate School, was chosen by ABR to receive a new “athletic” leg with a high activity foot. Gina soon posted on FaceBook, “We are going to Nashville next month for a week and Delaney will help them make her leg.”
Gina said that ABR is an amazing foundation and they were chosen by the NASCAR Foundation as one of four 2020 finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. Gina asked her FaceBook followers to support ABA so they might receive $100,000 to help more kids like Delaney. “Please vote and do it every day if you can! Delaney really appreciates it!”
Amputee Blade Runners was founded by two prosthetists, with the idea that giving someone one piece of equipment could change their life. That’s exactly what happened to their co-founder, Ryan Fann, when a local prosthetic company gave Ryan his first running leg after high school. Fann excelled in sports throughout middle school and high school, but when he was fitted for his first running leg, the world opened up. He went on to run track at Tennessee State University and even earned a GOLD Medal in the Paralympics. This is why Amputee Blade Runners was founded in 2011.
Justin Darm is the prosthetist who measured, cast, modified, and aligned Delaney’s prosthesis. He told me, “Delaney was playing on a beach in North Carolina when one of my coworkers who works at the prosthetic clinic I am employed at saw her using the prosthesis she had before to coming to us. My coworker struck up a conversation with Delaney’s parents and informed her of the charity we volunteer for called Amputee Blade Runners (ABR), which is run out of the prosthetic clinic in which we are employed.” There is only one full-time employee of the charity and the rest of the people who make it all happen volunteer their time and expertise. Delaney was advised to fill out an application to receive a grant to be provided with a free high activity prosthesis based on her current limitations and goals. She was accepted and a trip was scheduled to come to Nashville for a week to improve the current fit and function of her prosthesis. She was provided with a new prosthesis and high activity foot.
Delaney returned home to Loveland last week.
Justin and Delaney talk about different (lighter, cheaper) ways to make a prosthetic socket. Watch to the end to see how well she moves in it!
The Goal of Amputee Blade Runners is to provide a running prosthesis to one amputee athlete in all 50 states by 2016. They are a 501(C) 3 Non Profit organization that helps to provide free running prosthetics for amputees.
Currently, there are 31 states with ABR athletic ambassadors.
Delaney Dunlap is the daughter of Mike Dunlap and Gina Rohdenburg. Last January, Loveland Magazine’s Cassie Mattia interviewed Delany and Gina. Mattia wrote,” At 15 months old, Delaney encountered the turning point of her very young life; a leg amputation. Delaney was born with a condition called Fibular Hemimelia, meaning her fibular bone was missing. When the fibular bone is missing this can lead to limb length discrepancy, foot deformities, and knee deformities. Only 1 in 40,000 births encounter FH.”
“We worked with Shriners and Children’s Hospital to determine the best course of action and we decided that having an amputation at an early age would allow her the most normal life with the least interruptions,” Gina explained to Cassie, “On March 4th, 2012, at 15 months old she had her amputation. About 3 months later she was fit for her prosthetic leg.”
“At 2 years of age, she took her leg from us and said, ‘I do it myself!’ She proceeded to put her leg on and jump up and say, ‘all done’ with a shrug of her shoulders,” Gina said. “By 4 we had her in gymnastics with Ms. Karol Warden and she started performing in front of people. By 5 she was playing soccer, by 7 she was playing softball, by 8 she was golfing, and about 2 years ago she took up snowboarding,” Gina added.
On the first day in Nashville at ABR getting cast for Delaney’s new leg Gina said, “She already had a great day and enjoyed every minute. Justin and both Aarons were patient, informative, and let Delaney help in the process. Already love these folks. Meeting new friends too.”
View this slide show to see the start of the making of Delaney’s new leg
On the second day at ABR, they let Delaney help with the fabrication of her leg and let her be a part of the whole process. “She left with a new leg and will be back the next day for adjustments. She already walks better and can see the difference this new leg will make. “Thank you ABR,” said Gina on FaceBook.
This slide show will show you, Delaney, helping with the fabrication and using her new leg.
Delaney will receive free prosthetic care until the age of 18 now that she is part of the ABR family.
The family grant recipients provide their own financial resources for lodging, food, and fun while in Nashville and the prosthesis is provided at no cost. Justin Darm said, “So, at this point expenses were covered by Delaney’s family and through funds ABR has set aside to provide her with a prosthesis. We always welcome donations so we may continue to provide Delaney with free care as she will require routine items like socks or a new prosthesis as she grows. Donations will also allow us to help the numerous grant recipients across the country we have already helped and the ones who we have not had the opportunity to help yet.” Sign up for the ABR newsletter.
Joshua Southards, JD, MMN, is the Executive Director of Amputee Blade Runners and said, “Thanks so much for your interest in Delaney and Amputee Blade Runners.” Southards said that Delaney is a “great kid” and he was thrilled to be a part of her story. “Our applicants go through a vetting process and she passed everything with flying colors,” said Southards.
Delaney produced this video of her ABR experience. It shows the process and how she helped with making her leg
Watch this slo-mo video of Delaney tumbling on her new leg
Loveland Magazine’s Cassie Mattia interviewed Delany in January of this year because she is part of Loveland’s DNA. Read more about Delany and watch the interview”
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