Real Life Stories //
Matt M. | Unilateral Transtibial Amputee
My name is Matt, and I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a malignant cancerous bone tumor that affects children, at the young age of 14 years old. The diagnosis resulted in a left leg below-knee amputation. The doctors wanted me to go through a year of chemotherapy after the amputation “just in case”.
As time passed, I enjoyed my high school years and went off to college. I got married to the love of my life Allison, and we now have two children together, Molly and Keller. In 2008, I moved to the mid-Atlantic to work for a company located in Elkton, Maryland. That same year I needed a new cycling-specific leg since the one I had been wearing was overused and didn’t fit anymore, so I did my research for a new prosthetist since I was new in the region and came across Real Life Prosthetics. I met with Jonas and described to him what I wanted and what new things we should do. As I have been an amputee for over 20 years, I knew what I wanted, what worked, and what did not. Jonas was really good at making what I needed for cycling, a leg that would work for me both for road cycling and mountain bike riding/racing. After another year of riding on the leg, Jonas wanted to build another, more aerodynamic cycling leg that would stand out and get attention. After six months of trial sockets and test rides, I had another riding leg that did get attention and comments, such as “cool” and “awesome”, while I was on the road and trail. After 13 years of using an “everyday leg”, Jonas and the team at Real Life Prosthetics did a great job setting me up with another great prosthetic that was more comfortable.
Today, I reside in Cochranville, Pennsylvania, and continue to ride all the time. I bike-commute to work a lot, exceeding 4,000 miles in 2011. I usually try to ride around 50-75 miles on Sundays, either road or mountain, along with group rides during the week after work. I have done some big mountain bike rides like the Shenandoah 100 MTB (SM100) race in 2010 and 2011, and The Baker’s Dozen 13-hour Endurance race in Virginia in 2009, 2010, and winning 1st place in 2012. This year, I am on track to pass my all-time annual mileage of 5,300 miles in 2011, to almost 7,000 in 2012.
If it wasn’t for Jonas and his team at Real Life Prosthetics, I would not be able to continue riding and live a comfortable life with my family.
Real Life Prosthetics' Patient since 2008
Even though we do not have current stats on Matt's annual mileage he regularly bike-commutes to work and continues to cycle on the weekends. Just recently Matt shared a 100-mile day trip that he took with a group of riding friends through Pennsylvania!