Non-Profit News: Foundation Helps Patients Keep Their Limbs

From children with bone cancer to soldiers injured in Iraq, people from around the Rocky Mountain region and beyond who are in danger of losing an arm or a leg often find themselves coming to Denver for treatment. They find help and support from the Limb Preservation Foundation.

  The team of doctors at the Denver Clinic for Extremities at Risk, which includes orthopedists, oncologists, psychiatrists, and infectious disease specialists, are world-renowned for their success in saving limbs put in danger by trauma, tumors or infection.

“These guys are the best in the world, and this is their specialty,” says Martha Simmons, director of the Denver clinic’s fundraising arm, the Limb Preservation Foundation.

The foundation’s mission is to “support the prevention and treatment of limb-threatening conditions.”  Sometimes that means providing financial assistance to patients for everything from medication to transportation.

“It can range from a $2,000 to $10,000 payment for chemotherapy to a $25 gas card,” Simmons says.

The foundation holds three major fundraisers each year, including a Mountain Mardi Gras party, which this year drew 750 attendees.

Besides patient assistance, the Limb Preservation Foundation also funds research and education programs. The organization says its research has helped raise the pediatric survival rate for bone cancer to 92 percent, compared with 60 percent in 1986.

The foundation also develops educational programs about limb preservation, such as its Hand Safety Education Program for schools.

“There are 200,000 hand injuries in the school environment every year,” Simmons says. “There is a need for this.”

As part of its effort to educate the community about its mission to “save lives and limbs,” the foundation is holding a free Friend-Raising Breakfast Oct. 31 at the Colorado Convention Center. The event will be from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and is open to the public. For more information, see The Limb Preservation Foundation Web site.