April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, and some advocacy groups hold up Bespoke Innovations as another way of bringing attention, awareness and normalcy to amputees. Susan Stout, chief communications officer and public policy director at the Amputee Coalition, said that choosing a prosthetic limb is almost like buying a car since there are so many options, styles and designs available today.
"Everyone has different aesthetic tastes, but they all have one thing in common: They want the prosthesis to have a look that helps them feel that they fit in, even if that means by standing out," Stout said in a statement.
"Ultimately, the individual needs to weigh their functional and aesthetic goals, and the expected cost, and discuss these factors with their prosthetist to make an educated decision."
As Phillips currently finishes up his last two rounds of chemotherapy for the cancer, he is slowly getting used to his newly manufactured limb – and looking forward to a customized prosthetic.
It a reminder of his individuality at a difficult time. And as these tricked-out prostheses become more widely available, they are likely to catch the eye of other amputees who wish to give their artificial limbs a style of their own.
"The opportunity to personalize a leg gives amputees a chance to turn a thing that some may be embarrassed about or struggling to accept as their new reality into a statement of the loves of their life," said Condron. "It becomes an extension of us in an artistic expression and a chance to turn something intimately connected to us into a statement of who we [are] as a human beings."