1st Annual Optimus Prosthetics Get Up, Stand Up 5K


Optimus Prosthetics will be hosting the 1st Annual Optimus Prosthetics Get Up, Stand Up 5K. The event will take place April 18th, 2015 at Eastwood MetroPark in Dayton.

The 5K is a chance for everyone -- patients and their families -- to come out for a day of celebrating the success we have all shared. For more information on the event, contact Optimus Prosthetics today.

The Courage to Get Up and Stand Up

Written by Kristilyn Stein, Office Assistant, Columbus


As the office assistant in our Columbus branch, I get the opportunity to meet almost every one of our patients face to face when they come into our office for their appointments, and I will never forget the day I first met Gabriel (Gaboo) and Tanya Mondesir.  I remember escorting them back to our patient treatment room and telling them, "Go ahead, make yourselves at home, and sit wherever you like." Gabriel (Gaboo) immediately went over and sat down on the little end table in patient room with a big grin on his face. When I looked over at him quizzically he smiled and said, "Well, you said sit wherever I want." Gaboo's spirited and spunky nature and his wife's sweet spirit made each visit with them an enjoyable one. During that first visit, I learned that Gaboo, originally from the tropical island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean, was the keyboardist a reggae band called The Ark Band. We talked a little about St. Lucia, his music, and how he couldn't wait to get literally back on his feet again. Every time that Gaboo and Tanya came into the office, they were a ray of sunshine that brightened all of our days, and I looked forward to their visits to the office.


Unfortunately, as fate would have it, our time getting to know Gaboo would be cut short. He passed away suddenly before he was able to get his prosthesis. When Tanya came into the office and told us what had happened, we were all completely shocked and deeply saddened. It was the one and only time I had seen Tanya without her trademark smile. However, even in the midst of her grief, Tanya did something rather incredible. It wasn't even a month after Gaboo's sudden passing when Tanya approached us with an idea. She told us that Gaboo loved one of the pictures we have hanging in our patient room and shared that this picture had inspired both of them. The picture Gaboo saw was of a young girl named Helen playing soccer. Tanya told us that she and her husband had never really thought about the fact that there are children who also have gone through limb loss. This touched both their hearts with compassion and a desire to help.


Tanya told us that she wanted to set up a foundation in honor of her late husband to help children with limb loss. She came to us and asked us for ideas on how she could get involved and help. We brainstormed with her and landed on the idea of sponsoring children with limb loss to go to Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp, a summer camp specifically for kids with limb loss. We helped Tanya reach out to The Amputee Coalition, the organization that runs the camp, to get more details on ways to get involved/help. Thus The Get Up Stand Up Foundation was born, and Tanya's dream became a reality. In less than a year, The Get Up Stand Up Foundation has already organized 2 major annual fundraising events. The first is a 5K race in Dayton, OH (this year the 5K is on April 18th) and the second will be a benefit concert in Columbus (date TBD). All proceeds from both events will go toward sponsoring children with limb loss to go to Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp.  For more information on The Get Up Stand Up Foundation, the 5K, or the Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp, please click on the links at the end of this story.


We are all excited for Tanya and The Get Up Stand Up Foundation for what the future holds.  The story behind The Get Up Stand Up Foundation is a perfect example of turning a painful personal tragedy into something amazing and beautiful that benefits so many.  And, coincidentally, guess who the first child will be that The Get Up Stand Up Foundation sponsors this year to go to Camp? Helen, the young girl from the picture in our patient room who inspired both Gaboo and Tanya. 






Paddy Rossbach Camp: Providing Opportunities for Kids with Limb Loss and Limb Difference
Main image courtesy of Amputee Coalition of America
Being a child with limb loss or limb difference is far from easy. In addition to the physical obstacles, children with limb loss or limb difference have to also work through the stares, questions and perceptions of their classmates and peers. It can be intimidating and leave kids with limb loss or limb difference feeling alone. The Paddy Rossbach Camp works to show these kids how strong they are and that they aren't alone. 

The camp was started in 2000, and was moved to Ohio in 2008. Held at the Joy Outdoor Education Center in Clarksville, the Paddy Rossbach camp offers a variety of different experiences for kids with limb loss and limb difference, such as:
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Archery
  • Team field sports
  • Sitting volleyball
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Swimming
  • Basketball
  • Creative arts
  • Educational programs
There are also peer discussion groups, leadership training and social events to help campers develop their identity and experience a vast array of situations without fear of being judged.

Although the registration for this year's camp is over, you can still be involved in another way. There is a fundraising campaign pitting the female and male campers against each other to see who can raise the most money. You can visit the camp's website to make your donation to help support the camp by clicking here.

Optimus Patient Helen Bourchard, the subject of our November newsletter and the inspiration behind the Get Up Stand Up Foundation, will be attending the camp through the proceeds generated from the first annual Get Up Stand Up 5K. 

Please consider donating not only to further this great opportunity for kids with limb loss and limb difference, but also to create greater awareness for amputee support during Limb Loss Awareness Month.

Jim's Corner


Optimus Prosthetics Jim Scharf
Jim Scharf, PTA

The goal of "Jim's Corner" is to provide helpful information and be a resource for those helping patients fitted with prosthetics learn to use them correctly in order to enjoy a better quality of life as an amputee.



How to Initiate Prosthetic Gait Sequence Forward with or without an Assistive Device


To teach a patient moving forward with or without an assistive device, I like to initiate prosthetic gait by stepping forward a half step with the prosthesis first. I know that this is in opposition to the current mentality with prosthetic gait, but I have found that once this is learned it is generally easier for the majority of patients and decreases their frustration with prosthetic gait.

When we start with the prosthetic limb first (a half step), then a full step with the sound limb, it is easier to achieve a prosthetic terminal stance and proper prosthetic toe load to facilitate proper prosthetic stance disengagement. Prosthetic stance disengagement will provide the knee flexion that is required for a proper prosthetic swing and toe clearance, which results in a more efficient gait. 

I have found that when the patient starts with the sound limb first they will generally start with a deviation (vault, hip hike, circumducting or abducting) to attempt to get the prosthesis out front. This method does not work for 100 percent of amputee patients 100 percent of the time, but I have found that it does work for the majority of patients. 

The sequence as follows:


From the standing position I cue the patient to "turn on the computer" or "walk the plank" placing the prosthesis out front with a step length about half a step.


Then, with initial contact (heel strike) of the prosthetic heel/foot, the prosthesis is now out front, and then they are to load the prosthesis and take a full step with the sound limb. It is very important to remember to extend the residual limb inside the socket providing a backward force within the socket for stance stability and to allow a full step (step through, not step to) with the sound limb and achieve terminal stance with their prosthesis.

Upon initial contact (heel strike) of the sound limb, it is time for them to take a full step with the prosthesis. If they achieved terminal stance and loaded the prosthesis correctly, stance disengagement will occur (the knee will break) and they will be able to swing the prosthesis forward and place the prosthetic foot out front and keep repeating.


So, the entire sequence looks like this:

It is very important to remember the importance of gaining trust in the prosthesis. No trust will result in an inefficient prosthetic gait, usually the result of poor residual limb extension, a prosthetic weight shift, prosthetic balance and prosthetic weight bearing.


To progress the patient ambulating forward with or without an assistive device I like to begin with the patient seated. Try to have the patient perform sit to stand and stand to gait all in one fluid movement. Starting seated the patient stands up and initiate prosthetic gait by stepping forward a half step with the prosthesis first.



Jim Scharf, PTA, Prosthetic Assistant/Gait Specialist

Jim has been a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant since 1988.  Jim has worked with lower extremity amputee patients throughout his career.  He serves as a Gait Specialist and Liaison when prosthetic patients are meeting with their therapists. Feel free to contact Jim if he can assist you in any way at:jscharf@optimusprosthetics.com.

In This Issue

D = Dayton Area

C = Columbus Area


Course #1

No courses scheduled.


Course #2

D- 4/30, Kindred of Lebanon, 12:00 p.m.


Course #3

No courses scheduled.


Course #4

D- 4/9, Friendship Village, 12:00 p.m.


Course #5

D- 4/13, Buckeye Home Health, 12:00 p.m.


C- 4/14, Flint Ridge, 12:00 p.m.


C- 4/21, Laurels of Worthington, 9:30 a.m.


C- 4/21, McNaughten Pointe, 12:00 p.m.


D- 4/23, Friendship Village, 12:00 p.m.


D- 4/24, Soin, 12:15 p.m.


Course #6

D- 4/9, Good Sam, 12:00 p.m.


D- 4/27, Oaks W. Kettering, 12:00 p.m.


C- 4/28, Select Specialty Hospital, 12:00 p.m.


Course #7

D- 4/17, Resthaven of Greenville, 12:30 p.m.


D- 4/22, Greene Memorial, 12:15 p.m.


Course #8

D- 4/16, Laurels of Shane Hill, 12:00 p.m.


C- 4/20, Highbanks Care Center, 12:00 p.m.


Course #9

D- 4/13, Cypress Pointe, 12:00 p.m.


Course #10

No courses scheduled.

Optimus Prosthetics, Dayton
8517 North Dixie Drive, Suite 100/300
Dayton, Ohio 45414
(937) 454-1900


Optimus Prosthetics, Columbus
3132 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43202 

(614) 263-LIMB (5462)

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