POA patient Valerie Petta has proven that you can successfully rehabilitate from amputation at any age!
Born in York, England in 1945, Valerie was 21 in the early 60’s when the Canadian government offered interest-free travel loans to would-be immigrants. Soon she was on a ship headed toward Toronto, Canada. What started out as a two year adventure became a lifelong one after George Petta asked her to dance one night at the Avenue Road Club.
Valerie lived in Toronto for over 30 years, raising a family and enjoying a successful career as a property manager. She and George later relocated to Brighton, Michigan where they stayed until George’s retirement. Then, “the warmth of Florida beckoned to us,” says Valerie, “but so did our children in Canada. We solved this problem by setting up residency in Tarpon Springs, Florida and also building a summer cottage on Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada. Our children are frequent visitors to both our home and our cottage.”
“We were just settling down to the Florida retirees’ lifestyle - tennis, swimming, line-dancing, early-bird dining, etc. -- when cancer struck,” remembers Valerie. “An initial misdiagnosis by an orthopedic surgeon caused a few months’ delay before an oncologist correctly diagnosed a soft tissue sarcoma behind my left knee. After researching my treatment options, we chose the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where my left leg was amputated above the knee in 2003.”
“After a series of unsuccessful prosthetic sockets,” Valerie recalls, “a prosthetist associated with M.D. Anderson put me in touch with POA, and that was the beginning of my return to a full and active life style. We can never thank Stan Patterson and his dedicated and loyal staff enough for all they have done. If I can dream it up, they will find a way to make it happen. Yoga, dancing, walking the beach, romping with the grandchildren and dog are again a part of everyday living. Also, this summer, I look forward to paddling my first kayak out into Georgian Bay. Not too shabby for a senior citizen, eh?” Not bad at all, Valerie! ;-)
At the Terry Fox 5K run in Canada - Summer 2010