I decided to design a custom jeans line because as an amputee myself, I couldn’t try on and buy regular jeans I found in stores. I was tired of struggling to pull on and off my jeans every morning .
Clothing stores are not really geared toward amputees. I would pick a couple pairs of jeans to try on and of course I’m a different size depending on the brand of jeans and would enter the dreaded dressing room and it was a nightmare. You have to struggle to take the pair you already have on off in order to try on the new pair and pray that at least one would fit. All the while, hoping in the process I wouldn’t pull off my prosthesis because then I would have to adjust the leg I have.
I have to spray rubbing alcohol on it to set it back in place and if I didn’t have my spray bottle with me, I would have to end my shopping and walk slowly and awkwardly back to my car just so my prosthesis wouldn’t fall off. I stopped going to the mall for many reasons. One being the floors at the mall. My footing was unsure because the mall floors are very slippery and I had to lean more on my prosthesis so I wouldn’t fall. If I slipped I would have to adjust my prosthesis right away in order to avoid blisters or pressure sores.
Normally, stores only have a few changing rooms and it takes an amputee like myself longer to try on clothes. The pressure and anxiety this caused made mall trips not worth the effort.
I became an amputee two months prior to my 26th birthday. The shock of losing part of my leg was the first hurdle I had to overcome after struggling with all the physical issues related to my amputation. As time wore on, other concerns and doubts crept into my life. What are people going to think of me? What will I do for work? How am I going to get a new leg? Will the leg look like my old one or will it be just a pole? Am I disabled now? How will I drive with no right foot?
Fortunately, my prosthetist (leg guy) that I met when I awoke from my amputation was amazing. He was so meticulous and accurate. My friends and family were terrific and provided me with a great deal of support. My daughter, who has only known me as an amputee, provides me with unconditional love and support.
I love my life now and it is full of meaning and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. I want to help other amputees, especially women who may struggle with the physical and emotional challenges presented to amputees. That’s really why I launched BKQ Amputee. If I can help one woman, it’s all worth the effort.