Meet our Newest Grant Recipient, Connie Hanafy
Meet our newest grant recipient, Connie!
Connie, a 36-year-old single mother of two is our first grant recipient with an "affiliated disease." In 2017 Connie had an angiolipoma removed from her right ankle. Although it was a benign tumor, it caused significant damage, and Connie was soon diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. In the years following her diagnosis, she tried all treatment options available in the U.S. including spinal injections and a spinal cord stimulator implant. Sadly, all were unsuccessful.
Connie's quality of life and health were "deteriorating rapidly" as she wrote in her grant application. "I was losing my mobility with each passing day. The fun-loving and extremely active mom I once was, was gone." Connie says, "I was bound to my house and spent most of my days crying in pain and desperation."
Connie's only other option was to start relying on pain management drugs. As an adopted child of a teen mom fighting addiction, she always knew opioids were not something she was willing to take a chance on. Determined to return to an active lifestyle, Connie decided to move forward with amputation. Connie says, "It was the best decision I ever made."
Connie recently returned to running post-amputation and could not be happier. However, her day-to-day prosthetic is not made for running and is not a comfortable option for her. If you aren't already in awe of Connie, she spends her days caring for others as a hospice care worker. Connie is not yet cleared to return to work, but looks forward to returning soon.
Because Connie is not currently working, she is living off of her savings. In Connie's grant application she wrote, "I am unable to afford this running blade without a grant. I understand that a running blade is considered a luxury and not a necessity, but I would really love nothing more than to run again after all these years."
We are so excited to work with our friends at Levitate to give Connie a brand new running blade! We cannot wait to see all of the amazing things she can accomplish!
Connie after finishing her first 5K post amputation.
Connie finishing her first mile run with her kid's post amputation.
Connie's daughter reacts to the news that her mom would receive a running blade via a Move For Jenn Foundation grant.
Connie sent us the message below just a few days after receiving her running blade:
"I just want to thank you again. Not just for giving me the grant, which has changed my life so much in just the few weeks that I've had the blade but even more so for the support. You know the toll that being an amputee can have on you physically and mentally. It's been a challenge finding my place again after my amputation. Sometimes I feel misunderstood or people try to cater to me just because I'm an amputee and pity me or more so that I don't fit into that 'normal body box' anymore. I haven't had the opportunity to find many people like me, or people that see me for who I am beyond an amputee, or people that accept me for who I am and treat me like a normal person. What you've given me is so much more than a grant. You've given me a place where I'm fully supported and truly seen as an able-body person. You've helped me in more ways than you will ever know."