Kerry and I went for a sail on the 1891 Scooner Alma around the San Francisco bay yesterday with an amputee support group called Stumps ‘R Us, based out of Walnut Creek (just up the road from where we live). The Alma is operated by the National Park Service out of Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco.
Stumps ‘R Us is a self-styled “whimsical support group of cheerful cripples”, an irreverent group of amputees, started by Dan Sorkin, who believe in just getting on with life and having fun. It was great to meet other amputees, mainly lower limb, and it was a fabulous day to be out on the bay.
We got to talk to different people during the cruise as the wind took us up to the Golden Gate Bridge and then back to Angel Island. I’m lucky Kerry was there since she’s so much better at making introductions to people than I am. We meet Alan, a quad-amputee with 2 prosthetic legs and 2 prosthetic arms and yet to look at him walking you’d never realise. His skill and dexterity in using his prosthetic arms gives me confidence that a mechanical prosthetic may not be as bad as I thought.
Angela lost her legs and nearly her life after a fight with bacterial meningitis, she has a spirit and zest for life you don’t often see…her’s was by far the loudest laugh on the boat.
It’s easy to look at many of these people and think of them as remarkable, but the remarkable thing is, I’m guessing that none of them see themselves that way at all, they’re all just people getting on with their lives and having fun whilst doing it! If nothing else we have that in common.