This is made possible thanks to Heather Abbott, also a victim of the Boston Marathon bombings who had to lose a part of her left leg. Heather though vowed not to give up wearing high heels, the Boston Globe reports. And she didn’t. She created the Heather Abbott Foundation in December 2014 which aims to provide customized prostheses to people who have an amputated limb.
The foundation is a success and manages to provide people with more than one prostheses. For example Abbott says she has returned to her previous active lifestyle thanks to five different prostheses. She has a waterproofed one, one for running, one basic metal model and two with cosmetic covers which look like real legs.
Now Hillary Cohen will be getting one thanks to the foundation, too. Hillary’s prosthetic leg is a whopping $70 000 and is not paid by insurance. This is a problem that many amputees run into. The insurance covers the medically necessary bills, but not the prosthetics which leaves many people pretty much stranded.
“I had no idea that these things are so expensive and that you need different legs for different activities. You need several to do most of the things that you like to do. I started to meet people who couldn’t do these things because they couldn’t afford them. I was able to receive so much help it felt like I had to raise awareness around this issue and help other amputees get what I got,” Abbott says.
Hillary was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis which is a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow on nerve endings. She had such tumors form on her right heel at age 13. She lived with it for years, only wearing sneakers. Two years ago, in her early 20s, she had to undergo surgery to amputate part of her leg in order to be able to continue to live normally.
“It’s just a foot. It’s not my entire leg. It’s my foot that I’m losing but I’m going to gain so much more. I’m going to get my life back”, she thought then and it is exactly what she did. Abbott and Cohen met through Abbott’s nurse in the hospital and Cohen turned to Abbott for advice and help.
Cohen is the first one to receive a leg from the foundation. Come Monday, this will happen for real. It is a custom prosthetic leg that will allow the now 26-year-old Hillary to finally wear high heels. She has already bought three pairs and a short black dress. “I’m going to show as much leg as possible,” she jokes. “No pun intended.”
This is not the first time high heels help women with serious medical conditions feel better. They can help cancer victims, too.