A family from Dorset has donated six prosthetic legs to Legs4Africa. The donation comes as a tribute to their daughter, Elizabeth, who lost her leg to cancer and passed away in 2020.
Elizabeth, or Liz, was an active teenager who loved running, dancing, and riding her bike. In 2003, she lost her leg to a rare bone cancer called Adamantinoma. However, she refused to let her amputee status hold her back. She learned to drive, kitesurf, travelled to Malawi on her gap year, and worked in London after university.
In 2012, inspired by the Paralympic Games, Liz joined the British Para Cycling Team and won a bronze medal at the Para Cycling World Cup in South Africa in 2015. She embodied the advice given by her physiotherapist, who said, “whatever you want to do in life, it won’t be your leg that stops you.”
Sadly, Liz’s cancer returned in 2018, and she passed away at the age of 31. Her family wanted to honour her memory by donating her prosthetic legs to the Bristol-based charity, Legs4Africa.
Legs4Africa, collects unwanted prosthetic limbs from limb centres and individual donors in the UK and abroad to save them from going to landfill. They are then broken down into their components to recycle them and match them with amputees in sub-Saharan Africa. Since being founded in 2013, the charity has helped thousands of individuals walk again, rescuing over 14,000 prosthetic legs and delivering them to projects across Africa while providing ongoing mental health and well-being support to change people’s lives.
Liz’s father, Jeremy, met Matt, the fundraising manager from Legs4Africa at a recycling event in Dorset and realised that Liz’s legs could make a significant difference to someone’s life. Together with Liz’s fiancé, Jack, they decided to donate the six prosthetic legs to Legs4Africa.
“We believe that Liz would have approved of her prostheses being reused to help people in Africa live their lives to the full,” Jeremy said. “We hope that her legs will make it easier for others to do what they love, just like Liz did.”
The family’s donation will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of many amputees in Africa, and Liz’s legacy will continue to inspire people around the world.