“Why are you trying to hide it?
Let’s show this thing off.”
Let’s show this thing off.”
Legs Meant to Be Seen
In 2004, Deborah lost her lower leg in a motorcycle accident, changing her life from that moment forward. Initially, Deborah was fitted with a standard prosthetic limb in order to regain some of the basic functionality from her life before. Later, she purchased a 'running leg' and resumed competitive running through the Challenged Athletes Foundation. She now swims regularly, runs in marathons and is currently training for her first triathlon.
Although the prosthetic limb returned much of the mobility and activity to her life, the titanium hardware and mechanical fittings comprising the new leg simply could not represent her individuality or uniqueness. In 2010, Deborah met with Bespoke Innovations, who presented her with the opportunity to have a custom 'Fairing' made. The Fairing, a product that results from a process developed by Bespoke, recreates Deborah's unique body shape, while allowing her to express her personal style and fashion sense.
Deborah now selects from several Fairings to match her mood or complement her attire. Her Fairings include a set in black lace and chrome, another that suggests fishnet stockings, one appearing as white lace, and still another wrapped with tattooed leather. She now wears skirts at every opportunity to show the world her custom legs.
The response from the world around her has suddenly changed from uncomfortable curiosity to admiration. “I’ve just got to tell you that’s the coolest leg ever,” came from a TSA airport security agent, confirming the transformation that the Fairings triggered. People began to comment on the leg, calling it 'cool' and 'sexy' - words rarely used to describe prosthetic limbs.
“People finally got it,” she said. “Instead of trying to blend in and be like everyone else, now I really go out of my way to show off my leg. I’m coming back more to myself and being creative with my outfits. I try to match the leg to my outfit. With the chrome leg you can do a lot of cool 80’s things like matching it to leather jackets with grommets and leather boots with accents. It’s taken me all of this time to get my confidence back and to be a whole person again.”
Not only do the Fairings embody her sense of fashion and taste, they also return to her body a sense of symmetry. Pants hang normally around her new calf, and boots surround calves with the same contours.
“I needed to have shape with my leg, it was very important to me,” she said. “I really like my Fairings. I’m glad Bespoke cares so much about us and how we look.”
Deborah works in graphic design and branding, and studies business to complement her art degree. In her free time she volunteers at an elementary school teaching art to second graders. Deborah lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.