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Program Teaches Amputees How To Live Active Lifestyles

Program Teaches Amputees How To Live Active Lifestyles

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Kimberly Houk reportingA couple of Paralympians were in town today teaching amputees how to run.

It's part of a program encouraging and teaching amputees how to continue living active lifestyles.

The trainers got down to the basics and taught people who have lost either one or both of their legs, how to reclaim a physical lifestyle.

It was a big moment in Lucy Tucker's life. She's 71, and this is the first time she has run in more than 60- years.

Lucy Tucker, Amputee: “It was really a feeling of freedom."

Cancer cells were found in Tucker's shin bone when she was 10. Back then, chemotherapy wasn't an option, and Tucker's leg was amputated.

Lucy Tucker, Amputee: I used to love to run when I was little. I was very fast.

Step by step the amputees were taught how to use their prostethesis to run again. Coaches say this kind of training boils down to giving the amputees the confidence they need to continue doing the active things they love to do.

Dennis Oehler, Amputee Trainer: “When you take someone who lost their leg 15 - 20 years earlier, and never had the ability to play with their kids, and in a matter of 5 minutes you teach them to run again. That's powerful. "

Donna Page, Amputee: “I have friends that are not active, and I see the places I can go that they can't go, and the things I can do they can't do. And I’m never going to give that up. "

This clinic is something most amputees don't have access to around the country, because most health plans only pay for two weeks of therapy. And the trainers of this program say few therapists know how to train an amputee how to run again.

This group is also focusing on re-educating the health care system about providing more therapy and training to teach amputees how to move again.

The Fit Well program is trying to set up a non-profit organization that will provide the funds needed to keep these trainers coming back to Utah, to work with the amputees for another year.

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