Always trying to fit in by not standing out seems to be my life’s mantra.  Because of what happened to me at a young age, my life has been about accepting what makes me different while appreciating it for being my greatest strength.  But I am not alone.  We all have things that we have overcome and can use those things to make our lives limitless.

It is truly humbling that mine is a story worth featuring in this month’s edition of the O&P Edge.




As a strong believer in optimism and a faithful practitioner thereof, I gobble up every little wisdom nugget that I find. And so, I’m starting my “Friday Fantasticals” which are my words and my perspective. Though not particularly profound, I write them with hopeful optimism that someone will like them too. Without further ado, this is my first installment for you.


Christmas is about giving.  And it’s also about recognizing that life’s greatest gifts are not store-bought, nor come wrapped in packages.   For me, this year filled my life with people who changed my life and experiences that filled my soul with meaning.  
As my gift to you, I share with you part of a speech I gave last summer.  I hope it’s message brings a smile to your heart…Merry Christmas.
Be the good. Believe there is good in the world. Good will prevail. Three powerfully simple phrases I saw written on a poster at a make-shift memorial in Boston seven months ago. Three powerfully impactful philosophies by which I want to live my life and through which I want to see the world, especially in tumultous times. This is what they mean to me. Be the Good. Do good. See the world with open eyes, every day. Constantly seek opportunites to help yourself and to help others. Do it for the sake of beneficiance and never for the purpose of self-promotion. Trust your instincts. Go to sleep each night knowing that you have not walked away from someone, or something, that made you uncomfortable because chances are, your discomfort pales in comparison to theirs. Believe there is good in the world. Know that the goodness of humanity always outweighs its atrocities. Know that logic and reasoning can never explain why bad things happen to good people. And if there was ever some sort of “justification” for it, consider that people, both individually and collectively, become stronger, become unified, become one humanity. Good will prevail. People act. People unite. People emphasize. Goodness will multiple a thousand-fold wherein one good deed, or thought, will inspire a myriad of other good deeds and thoughts. And if I could add one more, it is to be grateful. Accept life’s events as gifts, both good and bad, but especially those events that cause us harm. Use that which could limit your life to make your life limitless and to eventually accept it as a gift that you’ve been given to help others. While my life was forever changed when I was six years old after being hit by a gravel truck and losing my leg, that’s all I lost.  My life with limb loss has been the greatest gift I could have ever received in life.  For that, I am grateful.    Because of it, I’ve been given immeasurable opportunities to return the gift by helping others.  I’ve been given an amazing family and support network.  I’ve been given a tenacious and steadfastly determined spirit.  And I’ve been given the opportunity to tell another little girl that she would dance again only to have her return the “gift” by reaching out and touching my leg. 
For all of this, I am grateful. Be the good. 


Taryn Rose“Entrepreneurs have a profound grasp of the obvious” is a quote that Taryn Rose, M.D. said during her keynote speech at the Women Venture event in Minneapolis yesterday.  Herself a “serial entrepreneur”, Dr. Rose shared her family’s story of fleeing then-Saigon in 1975 and persevering to find an American to sponsor her family as a partial basis for her success.  Being a physician’s daughter, Dr. Rose went into medicine to eventually become an orthopedic surgeon. During her medical training, while working in a Diabetic foot clinic, she brilliantly devised a research study that successfully demonstrated that fashion-forward diabetic-friendly shoes. had a higher rate of compliance by the people who used them. In other words, she designed shoes that were functionally appropriate for people with Diabetes by engineering the shoe inserts with materials that helped protect their feet from skin break-down or foot ulcers which, left untreated, could lead to amputation.  Taking it further, she started designing shoes in her garage and eventually developed her Taryn Rose shoe line into a multi-million dollar shoe empire.

Although her bio on the Women Venture’s website is what initially piqued my interest in attending yesterday’s event, I had no idea that I would be so motivated by her story. What first interested me in her story is that she is an orthopedic surgeon who forged her own path into fashion by creating fashionably functional shoes.

As someone with a life-long love affair with fashion, I chose the legal and medical (as a nurse, a histotechnician, and a clinical researcher) professions because I didn’t think fashion careers were “credible” (by my own perception). Not that I would forego the amazing career path I’ve chosen but I’ve reached that point in my life to find my truer self and to do that which brings me passion.

So with my inner voice telling me that I had to meet Dr. Rose, I did just that.  At the conclusion of the luncheon, I made my to the front of the ballroom, patiently stood in line for her, introduced myself, told her about this blog, and said I am going to buy a pair of her shoes so that I can blog about them. I told her that I’d love to consult with her about developing shoes for prosthetic feet and she didn’t say “no”.  

Meeting her put it all into perspective for me.  Maybe this blog is my only foray into fashion and that’s okay.  It’s manifests my academic amalgamation of providing advocacy (that’s the legal brain speaking) by giving peer support to people with limb loss (that’s the medical care-giver-wanting-to-help-people brain speaking) about life-style expertise on fashion, travel & fitness (that’s the passionate true-self brain speaking).  

So, if by blogging about fashion is the extent of my fashion “career” and one person feels beautiful or more confident about something they’ve learned, then I have achieved success.  

And now, time to shop for these uber fabulous Taryn Rose shoesImage

Limitless FilmingThrough the magic of YouTube, “Limitless” is available for all to see and there’s no going back!  Boundless gratitude for those who led me through my journey and to those who made my journey available for the world to see. Always and forever will be limitless.

Greg & Lesliei