No limit to teen Jodie’s sense of adventure with Ottobock C-Leg
Inspirational teenager Jodie Millard, who lost a leg to cancer and is now helping other amputees through her Instagram blog, is looking forward to a life without limits thanks to the Ottobock C-Leg.
Jodie, 19, from West Bromwich, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma five years ago and underwent intensive treatment to try to shrink the tumour in her right leg in preparation for surgery where metal rods would be inserted to replace the affected bone. Unfortunately, after four months of chemotherapy, she was told her tumour was still growing, and that amputation or a rotationplasty procedure were her only options.
With rotationplasty still such a new procedure at the time, Jodie opted for amputation above the knee.
After learning to walk again using a hydraulic knee, Jodie expressed her wish to get back to the sports she loved and got an Ottobock running blade to help her with regaining her fitness.
Most recently, she took delivery of the Ottobock C-Leg for her everyday activities.
The C-Leg is a microprocessor knee (MPK) joint designed to help above-knee amputees walk with a much more stable and efficient gait. It contains a range of technologies which work intuitively with the person wearing it, meaning it can tackle all types of terrains and prevent falls. As a result, most wearers benefit from an increase in activity level and a range of overall health improvements.
“I wear it every day no matter what I am doing from seven to 15 hours a day,” she said. “I also wear this leg at the gym twice a week as well as other activities like hill walking and cycling.
“The C-Leg has made my life simpler. It’s easy to put on, the fitting doesn’t hurt or pinch, and my residual limb isn’t aﬀected even though I wear it for long hours. I can do a lot more now than I ever did before as I have the knowledge that the leg will help me if I fall by locking, so it makes me braver and much more confident.”
Jodie is hoping to put her C-Leg to the test in the future by travelling with her partner.
She added: “My partner is a photographer and specialises in landscapes and astrophotography. We both plan on travelling, and hiking to new places that are great for viewing the Milky Way.”
As well as planning for her future, Jodie is also determined to help other amputees as much as she can, mentoring others through her Instagram page, missjmillard, and is part of a Facebook community, Amputee Friends UK, where more than 1,100 members can talk about the problems as well as the positives of living as an amputee.
“People tell us ‘you can’t do this’ or ask ‘is life hard?’ We need to prove them wrong, we need to change that mind-set and the stereotype that comes with disabilities,” Jodie said. “Life is only hard if you make it hard for yourself, as amputees we just need to take that extra step to think of an adaptation in order to do it for ourselves.”