August 2003

Our most recent Amputee Support Team meeting was held Wednesday, July 23, 2003. It was a fun-filled night with one of our newest members, Rod Shields, along with the Green Mountain Porch Pickers, entertained us with a combination of Blue Grass, Country, and Rock and Roll music. We all greatly enjoyed the variety of music and compliment them on their excellent musical entertainment - I am sure everyone found a familiar, favorite tune. And Rod plays a mean harmonica. Many thanks guys!!!!

Additionally, Cindy Williams, from Susquehanna Service Dogs, and her service dog Will, demonstrated how invaluable their service dogs can be. If you have any further interest in the dogs please let us know, as we have printed brochures from Cindy, or you may reach her at 717-671-7813. She was able to demonstrate their amazing abilities - picking up objects as small as a quarter and many useful ways to assist people with physical limits. She demonstrated that service dogs are not just guide dogs for the blind, but can be trained for almost any task that an individual needs assistance with.

Dick Nickle gave a short talk about ACA's 13th Annual Convention we attended in Boston over July 4th. It was an uplifting experience and we gained a lot of information about amputee products and support information. We also became ACA Certified Peer Visitors. We will share more about the convention at our September 17 meeting. We are encouraging people to try to attend next year's ACA Conference in Nashville, August 5-7, 2004. You will not soon forget the experience, guaranteed. I know Dick and I will be attending next year's event in Nashville.

Next meting: Wednesday, September 17, 6:30 PM: John Williamson, a Hanger representative and bilateral amputee, will be a presenter. He will be demonstrating, along with some other guests, "hand cycling" as both an exercise and a sport. Hopefully, he will inspire us to look at this new avenue of exercise - we all know that some form of exercise on a regular basis is helpful to continue to lead a healthy lifestyle. We will also take a look back through a picture presentation at how our Support Team began and how we got to where we are today.

We are looking to have a peer training in-service so those who have expressed an interest, may become peer visitors. After going through amputation it is so helpful to hear from an amputee and be able to ask questions of him or her. So we would like you to let us know if you are interested in going through a training session to learn the dos and don'ts of visiting a new amputee. If you are a spouse of an amputee, or you work with amputees, and wish to participate, let us know so we may sign you up for the PV in-service. We recognize that the spouse also has questions and concerns and may be able to help with the process of adapting to your life after amputation. We are already in touch with the Amputee Coalition of America to try and set up a training session, hopefully this Fall. ACA will provide a trainer and the training session will be about a 7-8 hour session with a lot of discussion and interaction with the trainers.

EQUIPMENT SWAP: We would like to establish a "swap" corner in the newsletter to let people know of equipment available for sale, for free, or to borrow. The Nickles have available two stationary (not collapsible) walkers. If anyone needs them they are absolutely free.
So if you have any items that you wish to give away or sell let us know and we will advertise them in our newsletter. Hopefully we can help each other out by sharing sources for equipment needs. Also, the VFW of Penbrook has many types of medical equipment available. James Nickle, Dick's brother, may be contacted at 238-5812. Jim may be able to help you with equipment that you may need. NEWSLETTER by Barbara A. Nickle, AST Secretary.


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