Limb Preservation Foundation (LPF): Please tell us about the limb challenge that you faced. Feel free to include any relevant details that you are comfortable sharing publicly.
Hillary: I have been a physical therapist for over 23 years. I have primarily worked with the geriatric population and in the home care setting. I have treated clients with limb loss and I have been thankful to work with them to make a difference in their functional mobility and quality of life. My new book, Roxy and Maliboo: It’s Okay to Be Different features two lovable dogs with unique features who tell a story that teaches inclusion, acceptance of differences, and kindness. My own dog, Roxy underwent four surgeries, two this past year, her rehab process, in combination with my physical therapy background, my love of rhyming and writing, all lead to this new “passion project”. This book has now become a resource for the limb loss community, in addition to so many other communities that can relate to having differences. I also hope that all children can gain more insight and empathy for others who are experiencing physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Meeting incredible people in so many organizations that aim to help others! Seeing the passion, drive, and dedication to making life easier for others. In my physical therapy work, I have thoroughly enjoyed working and connecting to the elderly population and uplifting their spirits!
What is the most challenging part of your work?
Right now, I am trying to get this book out to as many communities as possible as a resource, to help children gain awareness of differences and learn to be inclusive. Since I am a new author, I am facing the challenge of the unknown regarding an entirely new field! It is so exciting and I am so passionate about my new career!
What kind of hope do you see for patients facing limb loss in the future?
My hope is better and greater technology to improve functional mobility, quality of life, and acceptance in the world. I have met so many incredible people in organizations that are so innovative, so focused on improving quality of life! I think that the limb loss community has a lot of hope for the future, and I plan to continue to write books that spread awareness and inclusion.
What is some new research or developments that you are excited about?
I am not involved with research, but one company that really has impressed me is called Naked Prosthetics. They provide digital prosthetics which truly change lives, improve quality of life and give back function! I also have learned a great deal about animal prosthetics which have also improved so many lives.
Why would you recommend patients reach out to the Limb Preservation Foundation?
From what I have read, your organization aims to provide invaluable resources to those facing limb-threatening conditions, with the ultimate goal being to improve their quality of life and to gain access to resources to do this. I am so impressed with all that I have learned and feel that the limb-loss community has a lot to be hopeful for.