Amputee Blade Runners

Every dollar raised by our tournament will go to Amputee Blade Runners.

 

Amputee Blade Runners (ABR) provide free custom running and sports prosthetics to lower-limb amputees seeking to regain their active lifestyle. Quality prosthetic care is vital to the health of an amputee. Access to appropriate care for active amputees is often a challenge. 80% of the 135,00 amputations performed in the US each year are for elderly individuals with vascular disease. Consequently, the entire industry focuses almost exclusively on this population. That often means that those who have amputations for other reasons, such as trauma, cancer, infection, and congenital conditions, who are otherwise healthy, are offered prostheses designed with another’s needs in mind. What is best for a 70 year old is not typically best for a 7 year old. Insurance companies deem running/sport specific prostheses to be “not medically necessary,” in effect telling active amputees they should be settle to just walk and neither hope nor try for more.

ABR, a Nashville based non-profit, was founded by prosthetists and technicians with the idea that a single piece of equipment can be life changing. One of the founders, Ryan Fann, personally knew this to be true. Ryan lost his foot at age three when he was hit and dragged by a truck. He began playing football at age 5 and continued through high school, when he became the only amputee to compete in the Tennessee East-West Shrine Bowl. When his prosthetic foot broke off during the game, he duct taped it back on and returned to the action. While this was a great testament to human will, it was less than a ringing endorsement of his prosthetic leg. A prosthetist agreed to make him a free running leg, opening the door to a college track scholarship, a Paralympic gold medal, and a world record that still stands. He later attended Northwestern and became a prosthetist. Attributing many of his greatest life experiences to the gift of a running blade, Ryan wanted to share that blessing with others. ABR is able to fit 25-30 new applicants every year and since inception has given the gift of running to nearly 200 amputees. Current ABR athletes excel in a variety of sports, including track, snowboarding, football, baseball, golf, tennis, and gymnastics.

Running blades can typically cost an amputee $10,000-$15,000 and children especially can rapidly outgrow the equipment. To accommodate these changing needs, ABR makes a 5 year commitment to children. Through volunteerism and favorable pricing from vendors, ABR is able to provide the equipment at a cost of $3,125 per new applicant, and $1,850 for new and existing athletes combined.

For more information about Amputee Blade Runners, please visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram