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Amputee finds ways to give back

Amputee finds ways to give back

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CEDAR FALLS — After surviving a tragic accident and learning to live with a prosthetic leg, Steve Husome is taking strides to help the hundreds of Cedar Valley residents also living with limb loss this April to coincide with Limb Loss Awareness Month.

Husome was about a half-mile from Morrison on Iowa Highway 175 heading to an Eagles concert Sept. 6, 2014, on his Harley motorcycle when his life was forever changed.

While he attempted to pass a semi tractor pulling a grain trailer, the semi turned left into a farm drive, not realizing Husome was passing. Husome collided with the semi at 50 mph and was trapped underneath.

The aftermath resulted in Husome’s right leg being amputated and severe damage to his left leg. After nine surgeries, hundreds of hours of physical therapy and a new prosthetic leg, Husome relearned how to walk and ride a bicycle.

“I just felt like after surviving something like this, it changes your perspective on life and really helps define what’s important and what’s not as important,” Husome said. “For me it was really getting closer to my family, but also finding a way to pay it forward and help other people that maybe having a similar experience.”

After conquering his personal goals, his motivation turned toward helping other local amputees.

In January 2016, Husome joined Clark and Associates in Waterloo, a provider of prosthetic and orthotic services and supplies, as director of operations.

“I’ve got a greater appreciation of what our patients go through, having lived through it myself,” he said.

Last summer, he organized a group of volunteers and launched the HusomeStrong Foundation, a nonprofit foundation designed to assist local amputees with what they need, including modifications to their home or automobile.

Husome noted new technology is constantly being developed, but in many cases insurance determines if the patient has access.

“That’s where I feel like our foundation can really come in and be the bridge to where the insurance company ends and the technology begins.”

A basic prosthetic device for a below knee amputee can cost around $8,000 to $10,000, while a more complex above-knee device may cost $40,000 to $75,000, according to Husome.

The organization will host its first organized fundraiser, “Limb-It-Less Possibilities: An Evening of Inspiration” on Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Husome said tickets to the event are sold out, but the organization is planning to make this an annual event in April.

Dana Bowman, retired sergeant first class with the U.S. Army, Special Forces soldier and member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event.

Bowman is a double amputee. He has spent the last 20 years as a motivational speaker, appeared on more than 250 television shows and continues to do about 100 demonstration jumps per year. He will return to Iowa with Charlie Linville, a wounded U.S. Marines veteran who has climbed Mount Everest.

“We’re looking forward to it ... planting the seed in your neck of the woods,” Bowman said.

Bowman and Linville also will speak to eighth-graders at Central Middle School at 11 a.m. Thursday.

In his free time, Husome remains an active Cedar Valley resident. He can be seen riding about 70 to 100 miles per week on his bicycle or heard on the P.A. announcing at Waterloo Black Hawks hockey games. He serves on the board of the North Shore Boat Club and in the past has served on the Cedar Valley Sports Commission, president of Cedar Basin Jazz Festival, co-captain of the Cedar Falls Live to 9 events and on the board for the Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce.

“For more information, go to www.husomestrong.com.

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