Volume Q1 2019
Your quarterly news & updates
FREE Yoga for Amputees

Optimus Prosthetics is now hosting Yoga for Amputees in our Dayton office.
8517 N. Dixie Drive, Suite 300, Dayton, OH 45414

Classes are being held the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 4:30 pm-5:30 pm.
This is a free class and yoga mats will be provided.
Space is limited! Please RSVP at 937-454-1900 or email  

Marsha Theresa Danzig, M. Ed Harvard
Yoga Specialist, Author, Speaker
Marsha Therese Danzig is a below knee amputee and Founder of Yoga for Amputees®, a program to help amputees move forward in their lives through the healing power of yoga. Marsha lost her leg in 1976 to  Ewing's sarcoma . She has been teaching and training others in yoga for over two decades. She is passionate about imparting her lived experience of adaptive yoga and embodied movement.

How did you get involved with yoga and becoming an instructor? I was in a Ph.D program when my kidneys failed. I had to change my life focus completely. Through prayer and meditation I was led to teach yoga.

What benefits does yoga offer to an amputee? 
More energy, better balance, better sleep, more strength, better digestion, confidence, a feeling of wholeness, compassion for oneself, more flexibility, better focus, pain reduction.

What misconceptions do people have about yoga?
That you have to be flexible to do yoga or be able to meditate and stay focused for long periods of time. There are also misconceptions that if you can't stand, don't wear a prosthesis, are heavier, or have a lot of health problems that yoga isn't possible. In fact , yoga is designed for ALL bodies at ALL levels of ability and capacity. Yoga only makes things better!

Kendra Herber
"I am not disabled!"

Imagine anticipating the arrival of your perfect baby only to be told that she had a birth deformity. That is what my parents were faced with upon delivery. Although accepting the prognosis was difficult, nothing could prepare them for the decision that they had to make when I was two. Deciding to have your child’s foot amputated is not something that most parents have to deal with, nor was there a magical, easy answer in some imaginary parenting manual. They just had to trust their intuition and lean on their faith. In hindsight, my parents now know that amputation was the best decision they ever made for me. Who would have thought that I would be able to do more with less? Removing a part of me ironically made me more whole.
Seeing me start to thrive after the amputation made all of their reservations disappear. Doctors said that I would likely never run and may even have difficulty walking, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. With my prosthesis, I could keep up with other kids my age with ease, which wasn’t the case before the surgery. When I turned five, I started to participate in organized sports. My parents resolved to treat me like any other kid and encouraged me to never let my leg hold me back.  Because of the fighter mentality that they instilled in me, I have been able to accomplish many things that even people with two feet haven’t: I climbed a nearly 3,000 ft. high mountain, snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef (with one flipper on), ran a 5K, and consistently do difficult workout videos like P90x and Insanity. 
The fact that I can do all of these things is not only due to my own perseverance, but it is also a testament to how hard my prosthetists at Optimus Prosthetics have worked to make me a leg that can withstand that amount of impact. I’m sure working with me is difficult because I am not only active and require a very robust device, but I am also a female and want my prosthesis to look aesthetically pleasing too. Sometimes coming up with a solution that marries my two wishes of form and function proves to be quite the challenge. But, my prosthetists have always strived to give me the best product that works for my needs and desires. I now have an adjustable foot that allows me to wear high heels that can also keep up with my activity level. My leg has a skin covering that is so realistic that many people don’t even know I am an amputee.  
All of these factors have helped me gain confidence and form my identity as an amputee. The harsh comments and awkward stares that I receive hardly impact me anymore.  As a teacher, I take my leg off and show my students at the beginning of each school year. Most of them are stunned, and I’ve had some great reactions over the years. But, I don’t do it for the shock value; I do it so that they will learn to be more accepting of not only me, but each other. 
Being an amputee isn’t easy by any means. I still have my days where it hurts to even walk. But, seeing my disability as an opportunity rather than a hindrance really gets me through the tough times. I am not disabled. I am, in fact, able to do so much . I made a decision a long time ago to make my amputation worth it. If I don’t use it to create some kind of good, then it was all for nothing, and that is something that I will never be able to accept.

Written by Kendra Herber