Amputees Pushing the "Limb-its"
On a mission to bring awareness and raise funds, Leslie Mooney and Lacey Phipps are pushing beyond their own limits, biking 340 miles from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. in just one week.
Recharging before day four of their trek the pair of lower leg amputees stopped in Shepherdstown Tuesday morning below the James Rumsey
Bridge, before they continued to make their way along the C&O Canal trail.
"There are a lot of individuals like Lacey and I," Mooney explained.
"We're just plain old amputees and we're just out doing what we do with the prosthetics that we have," she said.
Living in severe chronic pain following an automobile accident in 2007, Mooney said she was given the option to amputate her injured right leg as a means to move forward without pain.
"For two years I was a spectator in life and now I'm a participant in life," she said.
"Now I can do whatever I want."
What Mooney wants to do is help make it possible for those ordinary amputees who live without the sponsorship of major charities or health insurance coverage, to gain access life improving prosthetics.
Mooney said a first carbon fiber foot can cost below the knee amputees approximately $15,000, with cost closer to $60.000 for the full leg.
A double amputee, Lacey Phipps was born without the ability to walk, suffering from congenital talipes equinovarus, commonly known as club foot.
"When I was a child I had about seven surgeries on each foot."
"I was told nothing could be done," she said.
Taking her first steps just a year ago, Phipps can now ride a bike, competitively rock climbs. regularly whitewater kayaks and loves to Irish step dance.
"I can't believe that I'm out here doing this now," she said.
Both Mooney and Phipps credit the intervention of John Hattingh, Prosthetics Care physician in Leesburg, Virginia with seeing the possibility in what seemed like dire straits.
"He had me up and walking in three days," Phipps said.
"We couldn't do what we do without our 'nuts and bolts' guy," Mooney said.
Mooney and Phipps hope to reach Washington, D.C. today, Friday Aug. 22 at noon.
An arduous experience thus far the pair said their determined to reach their goal rain or shine, having raised nearly $4,000 dollars for their cause thus far.
"We're going to donate every penny to an amputee," Mooney said.
Traveling 25 to 30 miles a day, the pair have set up the GoFundme page for the "Pedaling for Prosthetics," journey, which can also be found at
www.gofundme.com/anh1q0 and also by visiting their "Pushing the Limb-its," Facebook page.
Donations will continued to be accepted after the trip.