Kelowna man speaks up for limb loss awareness after losing leg

Ralph Zaiser is getting used to life as a recent amputee

Four months ago, Ralph Zaiser lost his right leg.

While the road to recovery has been difficult for him, Zaiser has now noticed how large his community of supporters has grown. He found a way to help amputees, and others, face and conquer the same daily challenges.

“I see all the people that have mobility issues out there in the world, it means a lot to me to be a voice for those people,” said Zaiser. “I want to make a difference.”

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Zaiser is starting small and organizing a walk to bring attention to this issue he’s passionate about. With Limb Loss Awareness month ending at the end of April, he said this was one of the ways he could take back control and do something positive in his community.

Zaiser invites Kelowna residents to join him in his walk April 27 at Orchard Park Mall, in hopes to bring more attention to Limb Loss Awareness month. After four months of noticing all the little things that have changed in his life, like getting a person with disabilities parking permit to using the automatic door-opener at the gym, he wants to highlight and celebrate the difficulties amputees and people with mobility issues overcome.

He’s taken it upon himself to promote the walk by placing posters and flyers throughout the city and at Parkinson Recreation Centre, where he notices a lot of people with mobility issues living the best they can. Zaiser has also gathered the support of local businesses, who have offered generous gift cards to those joining in the walk.

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Montana’s, Safeway, The Keg, GOLFTEC and Moxie’s are among the businesses that have made donations. Zaiser said that there will be 40 gift cards given away worth over $2,300 for participants.

“I’m literally learning to walk again,” said Zaiser. “I walk at the mall and use the mall for my rehabilitation, and I’ve gone out and done all the leg work, excuse the pun, and if I choose to look at it in a positive light, and do something positive with it, then that’s the direction I’m going to go.”

READ MORE: 43 Okanagan College students enter studies with help of government

Zaiser’s walk kicks off at 10 a.m. April 27 at the Orchard Park Mall food court.

He said that participants can look for him wearing a white t-shirt that reads:

“I am learning to walk. Walk with me.”

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