Whenever you hear a disparaging word about this country, think of its generosity.
Think of all those who rushed to aid the wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing, who opened their homes to the cold and suffering runners, and who even gave the clothes off their backs to aid the injured.
I’m proud to live in this America, the one not always acknowledged by the naysayers.
I’m grateful for the generosity of Americans, who have donated more than $20 million already to survivors of the bombings.
I’m grateful that in this country, where millions of people are without health insurance — and therefore, for many, without any health care — that a well-funded organization has promised to help the survivors too.
I’m so grateful that the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) has pledged to give prostheses for those who lost limbs or hands or feet in the attacks, if they can’t afford them on their own.
One prosthetic limb can cost up to $60,000. Remarkably, some insurance companies cap claims for prostheses at $2,500-$5,000, according to this trade group. Other companies might fund only one limb for a lifetime. Yet prostheses must be replaced every 5 to 7 years, according to the AOPA.
A prosthetic or orthotic allows independence and mobility. It allows a physical life, yet even more, restores confidence of self.
I’m hoping, through this tragedy, that we all learn more about the needs of people with disabilities. The AOPA advises that 500 Americans undergo amputation surgery every day. Yet insurance companies deny many the aid they need for an independent life. That costs all of us.
I’m grateful for all those donations to the Boston Marathon bombing survivors. I’m grateful for the prayers and healing, positive thoughts of so many strangers for victims of terror.
It proves, yet again, that hope thrives in the United States of America.