Goals of this support group

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JUNE 2005


HOTLINE- (972) 470-0505


  • To foster an active network of people that will benefit everyone to some degree, not only by providing moral support, but also through a service-oriented source of information and communication for all amputees and family members

  • To present programs and resource information to update members about new materials and techniques in prosthetics, and to promote physical fitness and social interaction for a healthier lifestyle, with “Un-limb-ited Possibilities”

  • To provide peer visitors for new amputees in hospitals and rehab clinics, as well as models for students at UT Southwestern in Prosthetics and Physical Therapy


It’s at La Hacienda Ranch, at 17390 Preston Rd., between Campbell and Frankford. Dinner is from 5:30-7:30 (separate checks; cash and credit cards only).

7:30 Program: Living as an Amputee (Ampu-Tales by members of the group)
Short vignettes

  1. How we became amputees

  2. Crazy and unusual situations

  3. Ways we learned to overcome our own particular obstacles

“Just because we’re missing parts doesn’t mean we’re broken!”—Gloria Leslie

Sponsorship: Our amputee support group is an all-volunteer nonprofit corporation and is classified as 501(c)3. Since we never collect dues from our members, we depend on tax-deductible contributions from our sponsors. We are very grateful for the companies and individuals who support us. They are as follows:

Advanced Arm Dynamics of Texas, LLC- Dallas (214) 631-8200

Advanced Mobility Systems of Texas- Dallas, Ft. Worth

Excell Orthotics & Prosthetics- Denton (940) 243-4198

D&D Orthotics & Prosthetics- Irving (972) 254-9292

Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc.- Dallas, Mesquite, Plano (214) 827-2021

Hedgecock Artificial Limb, Inc.- Dallas (214) 744-3278

O&P Designs, Inc.- Dallas, Garland (800) 886-6244

Orthopedic Solutions- Allen (972) 390-8412

Strobel & Associates Prosthetics, Inc.- Plano (972) 516-9538

Synergy Orthotics & Prosthetics, LLC- Plano (972) 769-8344

Texas Anaplastology Services- Irving (972) 467-6173


The June meeting of the Dallas Amputee Network was held at La Hacienda Ranch, and there were 55 attendees at this meeting, 36 of whom were amputees. It was a very good turnout! Ellen Fernandes and Willough Lust greeted everyone at the door and provided name labels. DAN bumper stickers, brochures and newsletters were available and offered to attendees; publicity will hopefully attract more amputees to the Dallas Amputee Network, the only support group for amputees and their families in the Dallas area. The display table had DAN literature, newspaper articles about us, inMotions, Active Living magazines, product information, and other materials to take home.

Announcements and Events: Sandy Seibert welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially the amputees who were here for the first time: Anne Price (with her husband) and Gracie Evans, a young amputee who is currently working at Strobel & Associates in Plano. We were happy that they came and we hope they will join us again soon.

TurningPOINT is a nonprofit organization founded by Shorty Powers 25 years ago that holds sporting events and activities for people with any kind of disability. They held various tournaments on June 3rd and had their 15th Annual Extravaganza at Bachman Lake in Dallas on June 4th with over $25,000 in prizes! Plenty of food was served in the Recreation Center, and Crazy Ray of Dallas Cowboy fame was there, making balloon animals for the children. They had rock climbing, disc golf, and plenty of water sports for everyone, including scuba diving and water skiing. Six DAN members took part in the festivities, and the Grand Prize, a PT Cruiser, was awarded in a drawing at the end of the event. Dana Bowman, a double amputee and former Golden Knight skydiver, jumped from a plane and parachuted into the crowd, holding the winning ticket. For Dana’s story about the mid-air skydiving collision that cost him both his legs, plus an interesting video about him, see the link on our Web site— www.dallasamputeenetwork.org . If you want to find out more about TurningPOINT, call Shorty at (972) 524-4231 or go to their Web site, www.turningpointtexas.org.

PALS (Prosthetic And Limb-Deficient Support) was founded in 1982 for the parents of amputee children, sponsored by the Scottish Rite Hospital Prosthetics Department in Dallas. Its purpose is to assist limb-deficient or amputee children with their individual social, emotional, and prosthetic needs, and to provide support to the families as well. DAN has provided speakers for some of their meetings and took part in an adult amputee panel last year. Their Annual Picnic was June 11th at the Scottish Rite Youth Fitness Park and 12 members of the Dallas Amputee Network attended the event. There were roaming clowns, a barbeque dinner and lots of activities for the kids. Randy Mecca introduced a large group of the children to disc golf and everyone had a good time. We continue to support their group in whatever way we can.
We’re all looking forward to the national convention of the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) to be held in Dallas August 11-13. So far, 25 DAN members are registered, not only to attend the many seminars and workshops presented, but also to greet amputees from around the world at our nonprofit booth. We’ll have DAN literature and souvenirs available, and hopefully other Texas support groups will be represented as well. One of our charter members, Ken O’Grady, has been a tri-athlete and physical fitness trainer for years, and will be conducting several training sessions during the ACA Conference, showing people with disabilities how to use exercise equipment. You can contact him at ken@ogrady.net to find out how to get started on an exercise program. Another long-time DAN member, Randy Mecca, has worked very hard on several special events for Conference attendees. Since DAN is the host support group for the amputees coming here from all over the world, he has organized an “Amps Night Out” at the Dallas Hard Rock Café on Thursday, August 11th, where he will perform his comedy routine, “Tales From the Crip.” Then there will be a barbeque picnic on Saturday, August 13th, with “dinner-in-a-disc” at the Scottish Rite Youth Fitness Park. The disc will be a souvenir of the event. There will also be the “World’s First Amputee Disc Golf Tournament” on Sunday, August 14th and those who pre-register for the tournament will receive 2 discs (putter & driver) and instructions. Individual tickets for these events are $10; a “Party Pass” can be obtained by donating $25 to the Dallas Amputee Network. Call Randy at (214) 826-6106 for more information, or if you want to help with sponsors for these events, e-mail him at rmecca57@yahoo.com.


The lucky winner in June was Bill Harvey!

For the next 2 months (July and August) we’ll be meeting at La Hacienda Ranch on Preston Road, and Strobel & Associates Prosthetics, Inc. of Plano will conduct a drawing to pay for the admission for one amputee to the ACA convention here in Dallas. The amputees must be present at the meeting and can sign their names on a ticket when arriving; at the end of the evening one name is drawn. Those who received a scholarship from CDC or who have already registered with the ACA are not eligible. In addition, the Management of La Hacienda Ranch has offered dinner for two in a second drawing per meeting. The lucky winner this time was Randy Mecca. Another incentive to attend!


Peer Visitation for new amputees or those facing amputation is one of DAN’s primary

functions, and the right attitudes and techniques are extremely important to do the most good. Nine of our members were trained on April 30, and we now have 31 ACA-certified Peer Visitors. The next training class will be on Sunday, August 14th, the day after the ACA Conference in Dallas. If interested, call Susan Tipton ASAP at 1-888-267-5669.

Program: Chris Summitt, a Denton police officer, severely damaged his ankle joint while apprehending a criminal. Taking us back to the night that changed his life forever, he told how he was called to the scene of a crime being committed and the details of the situation he encountered. He related the incident that caused his leg to be damaged, and showed pictures of where it happened. After suffering with the damaged ankle and undergoing various treatments, Chris was given several options of how to proceed. The surgeon could save his leg but he would never be as active as he was before. He attended his first Dallas Amputee Network meeting last November and saw us in action. After talking with several of our DAN members and gaining valuable advice about life after amputation and different prosthetic devices, he decided to have a Symes amputation at the ankle. Catherine Mize of Synergy Prosthetics has provided him with a state-of-the-art prosthesis that allows him to do whatever he wants to do; he was recently promoted to Sergeant and is back to active duty in law enforcement. He and his wife, Emily, have 3 small children, and the best part of his amazing recovery is that he’s now able to play with them and carry them around. One of the purposes of the Dallas Amputee Network is to help new amputees make the transition to their new lifestyle, and, in Chris’s case, we’re glad we were able to help him make the difficult decision to have the amputation. Hearing the story of his remarkable recovery back to active duty makes us proud that he’s part of our group. He is a great example of bouncing back and a true inspiration to others.

Other News: Ace Pecina has catered the food at several of our meetings and he recently opened a Tex-Mex restaurant in Plano called Tres Amigos. It’s at 3611 E. 14th St, at Shiloh Road. We have 2-for-the-price-of-one dinner coupons and sample menus and they also cater parties and deliver! Call Ace at (972) 423-7766 for more information.
We have a DAN Caregiver’s Network for the families of new amputees who need help coping with their new responsibilities, by those who have been through it. If you want to sign up for being on hand to help when needed, please call the HotLine.
There is always a need for amputees to assist with students in the Prosthetics Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The school pays amputees who serve as models to help students learn how to make and fit prostheses. If interested, contact Susan Kapp of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Department at (214) 648-1599.
The Dana Bowman Limb Bank Foundation collects used prosthetic limbs to send overseas to make new prostheses for amputees in third-world countries. DAN has already donated used limbs to this organization, as well as Craig Gavras’ Limbs For Life in Oklahoma. If you or someone you know has any old artificial limbs to donate, please bring them to the next meeting, or call Ellen at (972) 470-0505 for pickup.
A quote to remember: Finish each day and be done with it! You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day! You shall begin it serenely, and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. ------ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyone interested in those “pruned for greater growth” is welcome to join us to share information and friendship! Come on July 11 and find out for yourself!

Ellen Fernandes…………(972) 234-5966 fernandes_ellen@hotmail.com
Sandy Seibert……………(214) 533-5836 s_cybert@msn.com
Gina McWilliams……….(972) 670-0769 gmcwms@flash.net
Paul McDonald………….(972) 226-0735 pmac042553@aol.com

Jerry McGee…………….(972) 240-1449 jerrymcgee@comcast.net

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