SUCCESS STORIES &
Runner. Paratriathlon Champion. Cancer Survivor.
"Working with Jan Stokosa his attitude is, 'Nothing is impossible.' Jan never says, 'We can't do that.'
Other prosthetists can be defeating. There is positiveness with Jan, who works until it happens.
To run an entire marathon is huge. Jan makes it happen. He has never told me no. I have never had anyone take such time and care."
When asked "Why do you run?" Amy answers, "Because I can!"
MMA Welterweight Champion. Army Veteran.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competitor. Only American invited to World Parajiu-Jitsu Festival.
Ronald's was a story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles to obtain one of the highest human physical achievements possible – competing in Mixed Martial Arts… against opponents who have no disability! AND winning a Welterweight Belt.
Following his career in the brutal Mixed Martial Arts Ring, Ronald chose the path of the Peaceful Warrior. During the day he worked to help his fellow Veterans to find their way back to life and living. Evenings and weekends he trained Jiu Jitsu and taught other Mixed Martial Arts.
Having competed in 12 Kona Ironman competitions, Karen was preparing for another in 2006 when she was struck from behind by a car while on her bike in California.
After a 2-year struggle to keep her foot and ankle, Karen opted for amputation.
“They say attitude is 50 percent of the battle,” Karen said.. “I’m in charge of that 50 percent, so I tried to keep a positive and helpful attitude. I was told I would never run again and I refused to believe it. And I was very happy when I could tell my doctor he was wrong, and he was too.”
Thanks to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, she was able to get a running prosthesis and she began the long journey back to the Ironman World Championship. She gave Ford Ironman Arizona a shot, but had to pull out late in the run. “My biggest problem was my socket wasn’t a good fit and the leg was too long,” she says. “I iced it at 13 (miles), but by the time I got to 20 it was too painful.”
Having learned of Jan Stokosa from fellow Ironman competitor, Amy Dodson, Karen made the journey from California to our clinic. Kona is now once again on the horizon.
“There’s a lot of mystique, or aura (about Kona),” she says. “I set it out as a goal – could I possibly get back to Hawaii? I think it also sets a good example – for people who might not take on a challenge – if they see me out there, maybe they will think they can, too.”
Former Semi-Pro Football Player.
Randy, former semi-pro football player, transtibial amputee with other knee degeneration and pain, along with lower back pain is getting relief from the revolutionary BiOM Ankle - the only integrated ankle in the world that does not depend on the wearer’s energy.
For the first time, a robotic ankle component is driving the human, instead of the other way around!
I’ve been an above-knee amputee for 11 years. I’m an avid outdoors enthusiast and one day while running, I was hit from behind by a car that left the road. I was completely devastated and was sure that my life as I had known it, was over.
The amputation surgery left my limb very tender and I had extreme phantom pain— how would I be able to walk without pain, let alone enjoy the running and outdoor activities that I did before? Rehabilitation quickly became my focus and I hoped and prayed for answers.
Jan took a great deal of me with me—appreciating my needs, understanding what I wanted to do in my life, and providing me with the direction and challenge that I needed to move on with my rehabilitation.
I have been able to resume the activities that I enjoyed prior to my amputation, as well as participate in many new ones.
My experience with everyone at the clinic encouraged me to go on with my life—something that I did not think was possible.
"I have been an amputee for almost 40 years.
I worked with Jan and his team at The Institute for the Advancement of Prosthetics for the first several years of my rehabilitation. Jan is a craftsman with perfection uppermost in his process.
Jan takes the time with me during each annual visit to inspect the fit of the leg to any changes my body may have experienced during the time between visits Fit is of the utmost importance as any amputee can attest. This very personal involvement with each patient for as long as it takes is one fo the things that sets Jan and the clinic apart from any other."
Peter, Paul and Mimi
A Short Story by Patricia Skalka
Peter, Paul and Mimi – they’re not singers but they are a unique trio: each lost a leg in a horrific accident and each was helped to return to normal life by the same man, 62-year-old prosthetist Jan Stokosa.
For these three and hundreds of others, Jan Stokosa’s skill and dedication has meant the difference between being disabled and leading a productive life. “What are you not doing that you want to do?” Stokosa asks his patients. It’s a question we all ask ourselves. In seeing how one man helps the disabled reach their goals, we can all find the inspiration needed to reach higher.
A Short Story by Patricia Skalka
Reader's Digest, June 1980
She stood up. She took a step. Another step. Faster. Faster still, as if she had been running all her life.
Cheryl’s mother was speechless. Her grandmother turned quietly to Stokosa. “Thank you,” she murmured. “With all my heart, thank you.”
The Girl Who Wanted To Run
By Lee Whipple
Reader's Digest, June 1981
Bill Barr lost his right leg when a bomb exploded in his car. The crime itself was never solved. But the very qualities that had made Barr the target for murder—his hard-driving, almost maniac devotion to what he considered right and just— turned his tragedy into triumph. The narrative unfolded here, however, concerns not only Barr, but in a nearly incredible coincidence his son as well—and a family named Stokosa, father and son, whose destinies were to become entwined in an inspirational story that can only be described as fateful.
“My experience with everyone at the clinic encouraged me to go on with my life - something that I did not think was possible. I have been able to resume the activities that I enjoyed prior to my amputation, as well as participate in many new ones.”