Amputee Support Network

GF Strong

Amputee - Service

Amputee Support Network

Dale - Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland - Below Knee

Peer Visitor Program

In and around the early 1990’s I started having severe pain in my left foot while walking or running any distance beyond a few laps on the jogging track. It was eventually diagnosed as intermittent claudication, or the lack of blood flow above my left ankle when induced by walking or running exercise. In my early teens, I was diagnosed with cancer in my left ankle and surgery had been done in that area to remove a tumor. Subsequent heavy Cobol radiation treatment to that same area had done some damage to the vascular system, the side effects of which were now becoming apparent.

Unfortunately an arterial bypass was out of the question for heavily irradiated so a lower limb amputation was going to be a necessity sooner or later. About four to five years later I knew that time was running out. I could walk perhaps two city blocks before I would keel over in pain. Two years later that came down to a city block, the last year not even that. Resting pain was on the rise, infections in my toe and deep in my foot started to occur and the whole area was slowly going numb from lack of circulation. It was becoming obvious that an amputation was the order of the day and, after researching the topic fully, I had it done in February of 2002 at the University of British Columbia’s hospital with follow up rehabilitation at the GF Strong facility.

I’m a family man, and as I write this in the summer of 2006, I’m now fifty years old. Since my amputation my quality of life has gone up by orders of magnitude. Travel, previously a painful experience at besale - Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland - Below Kneet, is now a joy and I routinely travel and participate in everything from snowmobiling in the mountains of the Yukon to local fund-raising walks and runs for charity. Once an activist in my thirties, I’ve jumped back into the fray and have run as a candidate for the New Democratic Party both provincially and federally. And as an active amateur radio operator I have no problems climbing ninety-foot towers, not to mention a few tall trees, in order to maintain my extensive antenna farm in the country (see ve7gl.reboot.bc.ca). Professionally I am a businessman involved in computer security and my “disability” has rarely hampered my ability to earn a living.

I can be reached at dalej@reboot.bc.ca.

 

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