I would like to nominate Mark for the July 2006 Hero of the Month Award. Mark was born with a right femoral deficiency and as a result is in the process of undergoing his second limb-lengthening procedure using an Ilizarov frame. This procedure involves surgically cutting the bone and attaching an external frame to the bone. Then as the bone begins to heal, the patient turns external pins on a scheduled basis which increases the gap between the two pieces, triggering the body to create more bone material to fill in the gap and thus lengthen the limb. It is a slow process and requires the patient and their family to be very dedicated with their attention to the follow-up care needed.
As an active, 12 year old boy who has been involved in football and basketball at school, Mark has had to give up many of his favorite activities for the time-being. As 1 mentioned earlier, this process is extensive and requires several months, and this will be Mark’s second time in the device. Yet through both procedures, he has maintained a positive attitude and found ways to stay engaged in recreation activities to help keep him active and motivated. I believe Mark’s perseverance and positive attitude through the limb lengthening process are clear indicators of him deserving the Hero of the Month Award.