Discovering the Finding Your Feet charity while browsing the internet has given Kirkcaldy woman Lesley Lawrie a new lease of life.
Lesley (45), of Kelso Place, had to have her left foot amputated 16 years ago after many operations to try to give her relief from a painful foot problem caused by a form of spina bifida which she was born with.
“Eventually they did an an operation to break my foot to help my walking, as a last resort,” she explained.
“However, it didn’t help, so the next step was to take the foot off completely. Although I had agreed and knew it was coming it was still daunting to me as I was a young mum with an eight-year-old son.”
Lesley kept going with just the help of family and friends and it wasn’t until she stumbled upon Finding Your Feet, a Glasgow-based charity, last December, that she considered joining a support group.
Now she is encouraging other amputees to come along and join the fun.
“The Dundee group which had just started, was running a coffee club called Ampu-tea in the Apex Hotel, so I went along to see what it was like and really enjoyed it.’’ she said.
So much so that one of the organisers asked if I would like to co-ordinate the Dundee group, which also has about 12 members from Fife.
“I helped to start up yoga sessions, and we held our first swimming sessions with a qualified instructor this week.
“Last week, we had a trip through to Glasgow, with transport from Stagecoach, where we met members of the Glasgow group and went bowling, which was great.
“They run lots of other activities including ski-ing, fitness, climbing and cycling, and eventually we would like to expand to do some of these too,” she added.
“I only went along to chat and see what the group was about, and now I’ve ended up helping to run it!
“My husband says it has really brought me out of my shell and I have a lot more confidence. If it helps me then it can help others too.”
At the weekend Lesley and husband Jamie both took part in a 150-foot charity abseil from the Titan crane in Clydebank along with other members of Finding Your Feet to boost funds.
Activities are open to anyone who has had a limb or limbs amputated through illness or accident as well as their families. Group members are called Troopers and activities are staggered so there is something on most weeks.
“People come from Fife, Perth, Dundee and Angus, so Dundee is the most central place to have things,” said Lesley.
The charity was set up by Scottish mum Corrine Hutton who had her hands and feet amputated after contracting pneumonia and septicaemia in 2013. It aims to support amputees in achieving rehabilitation and independence as well as provide opportunities for families to come together.
The charity helps answer questions about amputation or limb difference; visit people in hospital or at home; discuss people’s experiences and how help can be tailored to suit their needs; put people in contact with others who have undergone similar experiences; provide opportunities for participation in sport and recreation and signpost people to appropriate support. For more information visit: www.findingyourfeet.net or call Lesley on 07949 030823.