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All amputees face myriad challenges

Roseann Sdoia, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, tried on a new prosthetic leg last month.

Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff

Roseann Sdoia, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, tried on a new prosthetic leg last month.

THE BOSTON Marathon bombings hit me hard; 35 years ago I lost my leg in a horrific accident when I was hit by a car. I was hospitalized for six months and out of work for 18 months. Terrible, yes, but every amputee has a story to tell. None of those stories is easy to hear.

The Marathon victims have been profiled in the media as they begin their journey of prosthetic fittings and learning to walk again (“First steps down uncertain path,” Page A1, June 29). Prosthetic technology has progressed dramatically from my first wooden leg (literally — it was made of balsa wood) to the microprocessor knee unit I use today.

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These technological improvements come with a high price tag. Out-of-pocket expenses are significant even with health insurance. Over the years, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket for my prostheses. My artificial leg is a necessity; I work full time as a nurse at one of the Boston hospitals that cared for several of the victims.

My health insurance, which is considered generous, will not cover the advanced Genium knee unit that many of the bombing victims have received as a covered benefit. My out-of-pocket cost for the Genium would be $17,000! Why the inequity in coverage? Is my mobility less important?

Diane Lauer

Concord

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