About Me

We may be old friends or complete strangers, but here are some things about me and my condition that I think you should know.

Who I am

I was born in 1964 in Utica, New York with severe bilateral club feet. They began casting me at 20 hours old, every week for 2 years. My feet would be manipulated at every diaper change to keep them limber, a very painful process. I wore a brace, constantly at first, to keep my feet from turning in.
At 3 years old I began having surgery every 6 months on my feet to lengthen my Achilles tendons. More surgery was required, to remove pieces of my heel bones in hope of keeping my feet straight, a process that was repeated every few years until I was 15.

Today, 50 years later, these surgical procedures, coupled with my condition, have left me with debilitating arthritis in all 33 joints of each foot, along with extreme stiffness. Although my feet may look normal, they do not work; my mobility is limited and I am in near-constant pain.
I have, through social media, met hundreds of adults with club feet and was shocked to learn that we all suffer from the same issues; chronic pain, loss of mobility, obesity (due to the fact that our feet limit our ability to exercise) and in some extreme cases, severe depression due to these problems.

Club Feet

Club feet (Talipes Equinovarus) is a congenital condition in which the tendons on the inside leg are shortened and the bones are unusually shaped. The feet are rigid and Achilles tendons tight. Although initially painless, if left untreated, it is a crippling and unsightly condition. 1 in every 1,000 babies are born with it, cause unknown.

Current treatment is much the same as it was 50 years ago, a combination of serial casting (holding the foot in a corrected position with a cast or brace) and surgery to lengthen the affected tendons. These treatments correct the look of the feet, but are not a cure.

IDEO (Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis)

IDEO is a new orthotic device, developed by the U.S. Military, to support, protect and restore functionality for an array of lower limb injuries.
Created at the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Texas, to improve the recovery of soldiers, it's an advance in orthotic design which stores and redirects energy from the foot to the leg more effectively than any before. It's customizable so as to help patients with various kinds of lower leg and foot problems.
And it may be the key to easing my suffering, and the suffering of countless others with foot and ankle pain.

"The first step towards success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment you first find yourself."

~Mark Caine

Upcoming Events

Want to join us? Check out these upcoming events and be a part of it!

Snow Tunes & Show Tunes!

Victoria College Chapel 91 Charles St West, UofT
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Coming Soon!

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Having custom IDEO's made, fitted and learning how to use them will cost approximately $25,000.
The goal is to have the money raised by January 31st 2015.

We've reached our goal of $25,000 !
Thank-you all so much for donating!!!

Be sure to check back at the end of December for updates on the fitting!

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