Billy P's Skills for Life Story

Billy, Ronnie, Eric, Kevin and Raul socializing at a Skills for Life Workshop

I have been a bilateral above elbow amputee for a little over 11 years now. I have prosthesis that help me do pretty much anything that I want to do. I thought that I had everything figured out. Living my life missing 2 arms after all it has been 11 years. I'm always trying to find new and easier ways to do things whether it be with or without arms sometimes with frustration and I think, “well this is just the way it's going be this is how I have to do these things.”

Well, I do not think like that now. The reason why is because I was invited to a conference this past week called Skills for Life 5. A conference for bilateral amputees to get together to learn and teach each other to make life a little easier.

Not only did I meet a lot of very awesome unique people I also made new friends. I also was able show other limb loss survivors a few things that I do to make their life a little easier and to my surprise I learned how to take a better shower when I'm traveling which also means that I can pack lighter for my travels. I learned how to put socks on my arms by myself, I learned how to hold a rifle and a pistol I even learned how to tuck my shirt in my pants which is something I haven't done since my amputation.

Most importantly I learned how we all can benefit from one another and help each other out. The thing that really amazes me is how we all do the same things like taking showers, cooking, dressing, driving, eating, etc we all do these everyday things but we do them different which is pretty amazing and that is why we all can learn from each other which in turn can make living life with amputations a lot easier.

This Skills for Life 5 was one of the most rewarding amazing conferences I have ever attended. Right behind me meeting my girlfriend Kelly in a support group I'm in called “Moving Forward” this opportunity I was given to go to this conference has no doubt been the best thing that has happened to me since I lost my arms.

Our will to survive and thrive is undeniably one of the best attributes that we have as humans and as long as we all help each other out whether it be showing others how we do things, lending an ear or just talking to each other we can and will succeed in all that we do.

Thanks to the Skills for Life 5 team and all the attendees for this opportunity. It has changed my life and others in a very positive way. We can all continue to thrive and live the best life we can.

Charity Name
Enhancing Skills for Life
Photo Caption
Billy, Ronnie, Eric, Kevin and Raul socializing at a Skills for Life Workshop
Photo Credit
Shawn Swanson Johnson