If you happen to be driving through Rosharon Saturday and see 50 skydivers headed toward you, don't panic - it's not Red Dawn come to life. And don't freak out over the fact that they all just happen to be amputees, 'cause it's not a coincidence: It's the second annual Airborne Amputee Skydive, sponsored by Houston-based Limbs of Love, a group that raises money to give prosthetics to folks who aren't insured, or whose insurance companies think that losing a limb just ain't that big of a deal.
The skydiving idea was hatched by Limbs of Love founder Joe Sansone, and the group's peer visitor Jody Wallace, who lost part of her right leg in a 2003 car accident.
"I thought I was never going to be able to skydive again," Wallace told Hair Balls. She had started jumping a few years before the accident. But when she lost her right leg (below the knee) she feared that part of her life was over. Such was not the case.
"You would think it would be worse, but my life is so much better now. I've learned to not take things for granted," Wallace said.
The other folks planned to skydive include members of Wounded Warriors -- veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who lost their limbs.
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In addition to raising funds, the skydivers also hope to draw attention to the Prosthetic Parity Act, a bill "requiring healthcare companies to provide prosthetic coverage for artificial limbs, on par with Medicare," according to Limbs of Love's press release.
Many insurance companies just have token prosthetic coverage that maxes out at $1,000, when prosthetics typically cost much more, Wallace said.
According to the group's press release, "Nearly 1.7 million Americans live with absence or loss of a limb, and many of these, despite paying their healthcase coverage premiums, do not have coverage for an artificial limb."
Insurance companies screwing people out of a limb? That's just weak. So Hair Balls encourages you to go check out the show Saturday, or at least check out the group's website.