Mom Shares Her Frustration Over Trying to Find a Prosthetic That Matches Her Skin Tone
When a Canadian woman had part of her leg amputated earlier this year, she had no idea how hard it would be to “feel whole again.” When it came time to select a prosthetic,Â Rahab Wanjau was dismayed to discover she only had two color options â€” and neither matched her skin tone. Wanju is now speaking out about how absolutely ridiculous this is.
Wanju was born with a deformity on her shin. She told HuffPost that after five painful surgeries, doctors finally recommendedÂ amputation. The surgery went well, but when she went to Reginaâ€™s Wascana Rehabilitation Center to pick out her prosthetic leg, things started to go wrong.
Wanju expressed her frustrations in a Facebook post.
“I was given only 2 color options to pick from, for a foot shell. It took me months before I got a new leg because it took me so long to make up my mind,” she said. “Reason being, none of the colors were of my complexion.”
Rahab explained that the two color options for her foot were either too light or too dark. After much hemming and hawing, Wanju “reluctantly chose the brighter complexion foot shell hoping I will get some dye or colors to darken it a little bit to match my complexion.”
If you’re wondering why Wanju couldn’t choose a color that matched her tone, you’re not alone. When Wanju inquired about getting a foot that matched her complexion, she was told it wasn’t covered by her insurance. Meaning, to get a left foot that looked like her right foot, she would have to pay out of pocket.
“This isn’t fair at all!! This isn’t a LUXURY!” Wanju wrote.
Wanju has used paint and dye to make the foot shell more closely resemble her own, with limited success.
It’s ridiculous that some skin tones are covered, and not others. As Wanju points out in her Facebook post, “Why is it that we have hundreds of shades of makeup foundations?? Thousands of shades of house paint??? Cars comeÂ in a variety of colors, makes, shapes & modelsâ€¦.name it!! WHY canâ€™t they make at least 10 shades of the prosthetic foot shells, then I can at least pick a shade close to my complexion if not a match?????”
Ottobox, the company that manufactures the prosthetic, confirmed that getting a foot shell that matched Wanju’s complexion costs extra. But they also agree with Wanju that it’s unacceptable for this to continue.
The difference in color between her two feet are so striking that Wanju says even strangers comment on it. Because of this, she feels very insecure and is having a hard timeÂ â€œembracing the new me.” She continues, “I am raising a daughter and would love her to be confident and have self-love,â€ Wanjau said. â€œHow do I do this when I donâ€™t feel so?â€
â€œI would love to feel whole again,â€ she said to HuffPost. â€œTo feel more confident, to embrace this artificial part that is now part ofÂ myÂ body.â€
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(Image: Facebook / Rahab Wanjau)