Meet Move For Jenn Grant Recipient, Sam Blakemore
Meet our newest grant recipient, Sam Blakemore!
Sam is a 22 year old amputee from Florida. Sam told us that growing up, he was always an active kid. He played basketball, golf, volleyball, soccer, and just about anything else you can name.
Unfortunately, all of this changed when Sam was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, bone cancer, that extended the length of his left femur at just eight years old.
After "multiple rounds of chemotherapy, in and out of hospitals and doctor offices, and several difficult family meetings, it was now time to rebuild the strength for what would be a life changing operation to remove the cancer for good and leave it all behind. The only hope I had after all of this was to retain an active lifestyle."
Sam and his parents opted for him to have undergo rotationplasty surgery.
"Rotationplasty is a surgery for bone cancer near the knee. A surgeon removes the middle part of your leg, including the tumor. Your lower leg is reattached at your thigh, but rotated 180 degrees. Your ankle joint functions as your new knee joint. You wear a prosthesis, or artificial limb. Rotationplasty is a more functional alternative to an above-the-knee full leg amputation." - Cleveland Clinic
Sam says "with thanks to his wonderful medical team, unconditional family support and the necessary resources I was able to have a speedy recovery. Since leaving cancer in the past, through continuous hard work with an amazing support system, my new leg has never held me back from an active lifestyle or anything I have wanted to accomplish.
Throughout the years, I have been blessed to participate in many sports. Recently this includes training for the Adaptive CrossFit Games, where I someday wish to be one of the fittest amputees in the world. Part of training for the CrossFit games involves long-distance running which has been my greatest weakness, this has led me to research options to make this feasible which include a running prosthetic leg and a running blade. Throughout this venture I was fortunate enough to meet Brooke Rasch from Levitate during a running clinic at UF Health. Assistance with funding a running leg would be very much appreciated."
We love working with our friends at Levitate and feel so lucky to be able to team up with them to support Sam!
Once his blade arrived, Sam shared, "I got my running blade on Friday and I’ve been tinkering with it ever since. I love it so far!! I was able to play pickleball with it yesterday and might I say I killed it! I was even able to run my first mile today.
I have a new found athletic confidence. Thanks so much again for all your help!!"