After Losing His Leg To Cancer, This Man Devoted His Life To Helping Other Amputees

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month.

The month of April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, an important time of year for Daniel Bastian, a certified prosthetist (CP) and an above-the-knee amputee himself. 

After he was diagnosed with cancer at age 15, Bastian was told he had six months to live. Ten years and eighteen surgeries later, he decided to amputate his right leg, due to a tumor inside the bone. "It was the best decision I've ever made, but also one of the hardest decisions I've ever made," Bastian recalled in a YouTube video

Compared to his original diagnosis, however, becoming an amputee gave the now 52-year-old a new lease on life. Wearing a prosthetic leg since 1989, Bastian has been able to participate in his favorite sports, biking and skiing for years.

Eventually, Bastian continued, "I started meeting with kids to show them that their life isn't over, that there's a lot to live for … I loved it. I loved helping these kids." They inspired him to leave his job as an assistant programmer at IBM and go back to school at the University of Connecticut to get his degree in prosthetics. 


Not only did he succeed, but he co-founded Progressive Orthotics & Prosthetics, a Long Island-based custom prosthetics and orthotics practice, with the mission of helping other amputees have a similarly fulfilling and adventurous life. "So we're here renewing lives, restoring hope, and doing whatever we can to get back to an active lifestyle," he explained. 

Since founding Progressive Orthotics & Prosthetics in 2003, Bastian has helped many people, from 35-year-old Benson who lost his right leg after getting hit by a train, to 2-year-old Alyssa who also had her right leg amputated. 

Though losing a limb may end a certain way of life, Bastian and his patients prove it can also be the beginning of an even better one. 


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