Model and double amputee, Lexie Bader’s goal is to inspire and show the world people with disabilities can do whatever they put their minds to.
Can you briefly talk about how you became a person with a limb difference?
I became a double below-knee amputee (BKA) caused by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) caused by a snowboarding accident in 2012. I contracted the CRPS from multiple surgeries and testing. I decided to ask the doctors to take my first limb in 2019. During the COVID lockdown, my right leg started to flare up and they fixed six things in one surgery. However, no matter how much therapy I did, it was just getting more and more painful. I needed more surgery but my doctors and I noticed that my CRPS spread to my other leg/foot. I wanted to be done with surgeries and move on. On January 17th, 2021, I underwent an amputation of my right leg.
What have you learned about yourself during your journey with limb difference?
That you’re stronger than you think you are. Most people will go through loss and hard times. I’ve learned about myself in the hardest ways that nobody should. I also now want to reach out and help so many others that I never thought about.
Do you have any simple and/or practical tips to help others adjust to life after amputation?
It’s hard to say because everyone goes through this type of thing differently from one to another.
- I found that trying to get out of the house/your room is very helpful.
- Having friends come to you just to hang out.
- Don’t beat yourself up too much. There are many times I don’t think I am good enough or worry about what others think. It’s hard to get used to going into public because people will stare at you. You have to remember that humans tend to stare at things that are different. But you are different in a special way, and they probably just want to know what happened, or they look up to you as an inspiration.
- Take it easy and just recover. You’ll be learning how to walk again and that’s an amazing step and feeling.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to strangers, doctors, friends and family.
- Making jokes about my condition helps me and I also just find it funny. (“Got stump? Like got milk”, Defeated- like De-Feeted… more legroom in bed for anyone sleeping with you. ) Just don’t beat yourself up too much.
- Remember YOU ARE A BADASS!
- If you are below the knee, I recommend getting knee pads for crawling around in your house.
- If you’re having a hard time with pants and clothing that you used to be able to wear, you can contact me and I can help. Instagram: bader_lexie26, you can also just reach out to me anytime for help or someone to talk to.
What future goals do you have for yourself? Do you have any goals related to engagement with others with limb differences?
- Helping out children or adults with the effects of limb loss, public speaking, traveling for modeling, being able to not be too bothered by my prosthetics so that I can get back to everything normal again.
- Complete a bikini competition (Bodybuilding).
- Get my NASM certification (Personal training).
- To inspire as many people as I can with disabilities. Through my modeling, I want to show that we deserve to be heard and seen and that we are just like everyone else. We are all just human. I want to show as many people, agents, and companies that disabilities are changing the world throughout fashion, sports.
- I want some little girl or boy with limb loss or a disability to see me on the runway, magazine, or commercial and know that they can and will do whatever they put their mind to.