My grasp of Latin has never been a strong point, but as I get older I find myself better understanding the saying: ‘tempus fugit’, or in other words, time flies!
Time certainly flies
Wednesday of last week saw the great and the good of the amputee community come together to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of BLESMA, the UK charity supporting limbless veterans to live independent and fulfilling lives. A reception was held in the impressive State Apartments at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea and it was the perfect opportunity to mark the vital work that BLESMA undertakes today, a full ninety years on from its founding in 1932.
This event also brought to mind the road that our charity has taken as we celebrate our own 39th Anniversary and beyond that, the prospect of the big 4-0 in November 2023. Where has the time gone?
General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, the National Chairman of BLESMA gave an inspirational speech at Wednesday’s event and it reinforced my commitment to the work that the LA was established to deliver back in 1983. Both our charities were founded to meet the otherwise unmet need that people living with limb loss have to face every day of their different lives. We can easily say that there is ‘life after limb loss’, but without the long-term commitment of charities like BLESMA and the LA, these really are just words!
For ninety years BLESMA has been there to support those people who have made the most incredible sacrifice in the service of our country. They now also support ex-service people who experience limb loss away from the battlefield and they make no distinction between these two differing groups. At Wednesday’s reception, I was privileged to meet an ex-Royal Marine whose civilian limb loss experience was very similar to my own. We exchanged tales of those highs and lows that constitute life as an amputee and it was very pleasing to benchmark the support that we in the LA provide in comparison to that which BLESMA delivers for its members.
Time certainly flies, but limb loss is itself a most significant long-term condition, and the work of charities like BLESMA and the LA recognises that we need to be here for the future…however long that takes!