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At prosthesis clinic, walkers learn to run

September 16, 2018

By the end of Saturday’s Össur Running and Mobility Clinic at Turnstone, Clark August of Findlay, Ohio, was running on his new prosthetic leg. 

August, 16, received his new leg : designed to help with running : Saturday through the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s grant program. August, who played soccer and ran track, lost his leg in a sledding accident nine months ago. Since then, he’s used a prosthetic to walk, but it isn’t the best for sports.

This new prosthesis is designed for an active user like August. 

“It was awesome, it’s been a big surprise. It’s been really comfortable so far in running,” he said. “I plan on using it more than my actual foot because I like being athletic and active.”

August said he hopes to get back on the soccer field by next season. 

“He’s always been a very active boy and always doing stuff, so it slowed him down some, but it’s only been nine months since his accident,” said his father, Darryll August. “I think he’s doing a great job and I think this will just help him go even more.”

Dozens of participants, ranging from toddlers to the elderly, practiced walking and eventually running on their prosthesis, learning proper form and making friends along the way during Saturday’s event. 

Össur puts on seven Running and Mobility clinics a year throughout the country.

According to  its website, participants learn from gait experts, Össur athletes and Challenged Athletes Foundation mentors. Participants also meet with other amputees and practice better, easier and quicker movements with their prosthesis in a supportive and encouraging environment.

“I think the most important thing that we’re doing is we’re meeting each other,” said, Eric McElvenny, a Marine captain who lost his leg in Afghanistan and now is involved in the Challenged Athletes Foundation. “The cool thing is, you come, you meet each other and a lot of us stay in touch with each other.”

August and his dad agreed.

“I like that there’s a community of amputees; it’s not just me out here,” August said. “I have people that are just like me. It’s nice to know.”

dgong@jg.net

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