Each member of ISA was teamed up with an amputee and was able to make the leg and the socket from start to finish in an effort to give more personalized attention. There was a little bit of a language barrier with some but the love and the desire to help was felt by all. This video is of ISA Member Kristy and Jose Luis walking together on his finished leg.
Noel showing us how he can dance on his new leg.
Blanca being helped by Luky (pronounced Lukee), who is training to become a prosthetist in Guatemala. She is the sister to Eddie Fuentes, who is the owner and prosthetist of the Centro Bionico.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
BYU students making prostheses out of PVC pipes
Published: Monday, June 13, 2011 1:47 p.m. MDT
By Randall Jeppesen, Deseret News
PROVO — A group of BYU students who decided to spend part of their free time in college finding an inexpensive way to build prosthetic limbs are now traveling to developing countries helping people walk again.
The idea started about three years ago when some students started meeting in the wind tunnel lab behind the Clyde building to talk about plastics and prostheses, said Douglas Wright.
Their goal was to help amputees in developing countries walk again, since many can't afford the thousands of dollars it takes to buy a carbon-fiber prosthetic limb.
Wright said you can walk on anything from a pirate stump to a crutch, but it's not comfortable. So after months of testing they decided their material of choice was PVC pipe. It can be melted and molded, plus it's firm but flexible.
"PVC gives you a little spring in the heel when you first step, but it gives you a lot of spring in the foot as you go to propel yourself," said Wright.
The group of students started calling themselves 2FT Prosthetics. They entered and won several contests that helped provide the money to move forward with their project.
Last summer they went to El Salvador, where they visited a prostheses clinic and learned a lot about fitting the legs and built a few for people there.
This year they're taking the project even further. The students have teamed up with the International Service Abroad Club at UVU and are right now in Guatemala building and fitting amputees with limbs.
Wright said they built legs for an 11-year-old named Carlos who lost both legs.
"He asked us when we were making his legs, he said ‘Can I be a little bit taller?' We said, ‘We will see what we can do,'" said Wright.
They ended up making the boy 5 inches taller than he ever was before, and Wright said the smile on the boy's face was priceless.
Other members of the group are in Tonga where there is no prosthetic clinic in the entire country.
The prostheses the students make cost around $25 to put together compared to the fiber-carbon limbs that cost thousands of dollars and are often inaccessible to people who only make several hundred dollars a year in developing countries.
Wright said their prostheses won't last nearly as long as the more expensive kinds, but it gives people a chance to get back to work and to normal life where they can possibly save money and be in a position to buy a better prosthetic later.
The students, some of whom have now graduated, are not making any money off the project. Some are even paying their own way to fly to other countries. They said helping others is just something they love doing.
Monday, June 13, 2011
2ft Prosthetics recently partnered with ISA, an International Service Abroad Club at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah in an effort to help more amputees. They recently returned from a trip to Guatemala where this particular group (13 to be exact), along with Doug Wright, a member of 2ft Prosthetics were able to fit 14 amputees and build 15 prosthetic legs all within less than a week's time (more stories to come on that later).
"The (ISA) International Service Abroad Club was founded in 2007. They understand that the need for service is worldwide so the ISA Club was created to help fill that need. Julie Baker Bagley, Director of the National Student Exchange program at Utah Valley University, has served as the sole advisor for the club since it's inception. But because this is a student focused club, students from all disciples across the University have had the opportunity to be a part of service missions to Thailand, Guatemala, and Tonga thus far.
As a club, they hope to be able to touch the lives of others through service while attending UVU. The ISA Club opens it's doors to the student who is willing to learn from others, and also who makes service a part of their daily lives. We want to engage with our community and beyond, we seriously believe that our project changes lives, and we want to be inclusive of everyone within UVU, our community, and worldwide." (taken from the ISA website: http://welovethiscause.blogspot.com/).
We are pleased with the outcome of this partnership and recognize the power that comes from uniting and partnering with organizations such as these. If you or another organization would like to partner with 2ft Prosthetics, please contact:
Dave Williams: email@example.com
Doug Wright: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you members of ISA! Your hard work and unique personalized dedication has proved to truly "bring hope to amputees one leg at a time!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
UVU International Service Club gives Guatemalan’s a leg up
June 9, 2011
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert
Written by: Silvia Lobendahn
Eleven Utah Valley University students, two University advisers, and one recent BYU
graduate have been in Guatemala for nearly a week and a half this June to support a
humanitarian project that will provide low-cost prosthetics to 13 amputees.
The members of UVU’s International Service Abroad Club, Julie Bagley, program director
of UVU’s National Student Exchange, Silvia Lobendahn, an adviser to the ISA Club, and
Doug Wright from 2Ft. Prosthetics a not for profit organization have measured, built, and
fit 13 amputees with brand new prosthetics made from pvc within a week’s time. One of
the fortunate amputees named Carlos, an eleven year old boy, was the recipient of two legs
yesterday to help accommodate his growing frame. His mother, a single parent, was so
grateful to receive this help since her job at WalMart only brings in an estimated amount of
$160 US a month to care for both Carlos and his younger brother who is only 7 years old.
The prosthetics can be attached for around 15 percent of the cost of an average prosthetic,
but all 13 prosthetics were donated with money that was raised from 2Ft Prosthetics and the
“The goal is to start self-sustaining clinics that can provide prosthetics for those who are
not able to afford them,” Bagley said. “This humanitarian project is changing the lives of
both the volunteers and the recipients.”
The focus of 2Ft Prosthetics is to establish, step by step, similar clinics worldwide in
underdeveloped countries. The UVU club plans to participate in another 2Ft Prosthetics
project in the future. John Calveri, a UVU student has filmed and will produce a
documentary of the trip for his senior project.
“These students plan and organize humanitarian projects worldwide,” Lobendahn
said. “They have visited other countries where they have left a lasting impact. The aim is to
restore hope and much needed relief.”
For more information contact Mike Rigert, UVU communications manager, at 801-863-
6807. To donate to the humanitarian project contact Silvia Lobendahn at 801-863-7296 or
Julie Bagley at 801-863-6750.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to nearly 33,000 students.
UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since
has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a
comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of
higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master
degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.
Doug Wright's Phone Interview with Randall Jeppesen while in Guatemala: http://real.ksl.com/video/slc/3/340/34066.mp3