Amputee begins walk to Birmingham for charity - News, Weather & Sports

Amputee begins walk to Birmingham for charity


Mark Sweatman is the first to admit, if he had both of his legs, a walk to Birmingham, AL, from Atlanta would've never crossed his mind.

Sweatman will lead the 120-mile walk from Nov. 7 through 17 to benefit Limbs for Life, a global nonprofit organization which provides prostheses for those who can not afford them. Sweatman is accepting donations in support of his walk on his website,

Sweatman lost his left leg to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy at age 38. While walking in Piedmont Park, Sweatman suffered a simple broken foot. That break led to RSD, a painful and debilitating neurological condition that could have spread to his whole leg. Amputation below the knee was the result.

"There is no way I would walk from Atlanta to Birmingham with two legs," Sweatman said.  "I know that sounds crazy. But, if I hadn't lost my leg, I wouldn't know the perils of being an amputee.  I am much more active now with one leg than I was before because know I know what a blessing it is to get up and walk around and do things."

Sweatman said there are a lot of amputees who don't have insurance to cover the cost of a prosthetic.

He hopes that the money he raises will give someone the freedom he has regained from his prosthetic leg.

"Limbs for Life have over 200 people on their waiting list.  And, if you can imagine tens of thousands of dollars for one person, that is a lot of money to raise," Sweatman said. "The average cost of a prosthetic leg can be well over $20,000."

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