The other major challenge is financial. Prosthetic legs are often cost-prohibitive, with an average cost of $5,000–$15,000—but until he was 18 years of age, Chandler received a prosthetic leg and prosthetic running foot every year, along with all care and services, which are provided at Shriners regardless of a patient’s family’s ability to pay. Shriners could no longer offer Chandler free prosthetics and related services once he turned 18. As a result, Chandler’s parents initiated a crowdfunding Web site to help raise funds for new prosthetics. A crowdfunding site raises small amounts of money from many people, primarily via an Internet campaign.
When Chandler received his new prosthetic leg, he was concerned that there might be problems with the way it fits, because the remainder of his right leg—called a stump or residual limb—was going to respond to the prosthetic in ways that may affect how it fits. He engaged in regular training at his physical therapist’s office—which involved work on parallel bars, stairs, ramps, and level ground.
The prosthetic leg’s fit was fine-tuned by making small adjustments in the region where the leg contacts the residual limb, helping Chandler to learn how to accommodate his new leg. Now, Chandler says, he is excited about his most recent prosthetic leg, which fit well, adding “I never felt so comfortable running in my life.”
In fact, Chandler’s new prosthetics are working so well that he would like to become a personal trainer, own a gym, and compete in triathlons and Spartan races. “My new prosthetics enable me to run better at longer distances without pain,” he says.