FASHION

ampuTeez

Amputee

Caiti Riley

My Confidence Turning Point

I was born with a rare birth defect, and had to have my lower left leg amputated below the knee at the age of four. I was always an outgoing and active kid, but when the pointing, staring, and feelings of rejection kicked in during my teenage years, I began hiding my disability. I never wore clothes exposing my leg and rarely ever told new friends. After 10+ tiring years of keeping my leg a secret, I had to have a major revision. I couldn't hide my prosthetic anymore. With all the strength I had and with the support of a few special people, I began to embrace who I am and started to become far more comfortable in my own skin. I knew I wouldn't be completely willing to expose my prosthesis unless I did it in a big way and helped others with the same challenges. This is what led me to launch ampuTeez, an apparel company for amputees and their supporters to boost confidence and raise awareness in a fun and fashionable way. ampuTeez (www.amputeez.com) is my final step in being 100% comfortable with all of who I am and receiving notes from others letting me know I helped them gain confidence makes it even more worth it! All of this has allowed sandals, skirts and even shorts back into my wardrobe!

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