Nigerian artist makes dark skin prosthetics to boost patients’ confidence

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mans hand wearing a dark skin prosthetic

Michael Sunday is delighted, if a little stunned, as he admires his new right hand: a silicone glove-like prosthetic meant to help him return to normal life after he lost three fingers in a car accident a year ago.

The prosthetic has a hyper-realistic feel and, unusually, is dark in color, matching perfectly the tone of Sunday’s skin.

Most fake body parts available in Nigeria until now have been white, or made from materials such as wood that also look unrealistic.

“Wow, this is lovely,” Sunday said, his voice choked with emotion, as he looked at the prosthetic for the first time.

“I have my fingers back,” said the 22-year-old student, who lost the thumb and fourth and fifth fingers on his right hand when the car he was riding in with his parents on Dec. 31, 2018, collided with another vehicle.

The artist behind the creation is John Amanam, a 32-year-old former movie special effects expert. He developed an interest in prosthetics after a family member lost a limb in an accident.

“I became emotional about amputees,” said Amanam, who is also Nigerian.

“They had this feeling of discomfort whenever they were around other people. I saw it as a challenge. If I could give back or solve this need, it would go a long way to ease that emotional trauma and loss of confidence,” he added.

“I just want them to feel at home and be whole, aesthetically.”

So he started making prosthetic fingers, hands, arms, legs and ears in 2017. Depending on the size and complexity of the prosthetic, it takes three weeks to two months to make one.

Amanam has no formal training in making prosthetics but studied sculpting as an art student. The pieces are sold for at least 40,000 naira ($111).

His company, Immortal Cosmetic Art, is part of a growing services industry that has helped Nigeria’s economy become the biggest in Africa.

Amanam said mismatched skin tone makes it more difficult for people to feel confident with their artificial limbs.

To prepare Sunday’s hand, he took measurements, made a plaster cast and mixed paints on a palette, as any artist would, searching for the right skin tone. The result was lifelike.

“You rarely find people with black skin prosthetics,” Amanam said. “I want this need to be met within Africa. I want to reach out to blacks all over the world as well, by making this process accessible, at an affordable rate.”

Continue on to Reuters to read the complete article.

17-Year-Old Armani Williams Is NASCAR’s First Driver With Autism

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Armani Williams pictured smiling and sitting in NASCAR racecar

Armani Williams was born in Michigan and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 2. Like many children with autism, he was nonverbal during his early years. Autism is a brain disorder that affects 1 in 68 children in the United States, 1 in 42 males, and means lifelong challenges in learning, socialization, and behavior, as well as many associated medical problems.

Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and is the fastest growing developmental disability. Given these epidemic numbers in the United States, almost every individual knows or cares about someone who is affected by autism.

Armani presented with extreme struggles just participating in daily life with his peers, but when he began racing at age 8 a light switch was turned on. At the end of the first session, Armani stated, “Dad, I understand.” From that moment, Armani’s family recognized that he had a special ability to drive and that they would do anything to make it happen.

Armani Williams was born in Michigan and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 2. Like many children with autism, he was nonverbal during his early years. Autism is a brain disorder that affects 1 in 68 children in the United States, 1 in 42 males, and means lifelong challenges in learning, socialization, and behavior, as well as many associated medical problems.

Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and is the fastest growing developmental disability. Given these epidemic numbers in the United States, almost every individual knows or cares about someone who is affected by autism.

Armani presented with extreme struggles just participating in daily life with his peers, but when he began racing at age 8 a light switch was turned on. At the end of the first session, Armani stated, “Dad, I understand.” From that moment, Armani’s family recognized that he had a special ability to drive and that they would do anything to make it happen.

He has continued to demonstrate incomprehensible talent on the track, competing first in go-karts, then bandalero type vehicles, followed by late models, the ARCA Truck Pro Series, and the NASCAR Driver for Diversity Combine. To date, Armani has 18 wins and 2 championships.

With several years of success and perseverance Armani is now at the professional level and continues to develop his skills on and off the track in NASCAR Canada, driving the #28 Race4Autism Dodge for CBRT MotorSports.

Armani’s dream of winning the biggest races in NASCAR in the U.S. is well within his grasp.

Continue on to BlackDoctor.org to read the complete article.

Photo: Team Armani Racing

Fearless Amputee Mama Cax Encourages Others to Face Anything

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Mama Cax walks walks with crutches on runway after having right leg amputated

By Hiliary Innerbichler

Mama Cax, born Cacsmy Brutus, was given only three weeks to live when she was diagnosed with bone (osteosarcoma) and lung cancer at 14 years old.

Now in her late 20s—and after having her right leg amputated due to an unsuccessful hip replacement following chemotherapy—the Haitian-American is an advocate who utilizes social media as a platform to talk about body positivity and to dismantle the image of what people with disabilities should look like.

“When I first started blogging, a lot of women amputees were messaging me about how they’d never seen an amputee on social media or anywhere showing their prosthetics,” she said in an interview with Teen Vogue. “I think it’s so important to show people who have physical disabilities because there are people out there who buy products and never see themselves represented in any way, shape, or form.”

In 2016, the blogger, advocate, motivational speaker and model was invited to the White House to walk in the first ever White House Fashion Show to celebrate inclusive design, assistive technology, and prosthetics.

Soon after, Cax was made one of the faces of Tommy Hilfiger’s adaptive line, and since then has made her debut walking the runway at New York Fashion week in designer Becca McCharen-Tran’s Spring 2019 show.

Mama Cax has now partnered with Olay in their new campaign #FaceAnything to encourage women to live fearlessly and to have the confidence to be unapologetically bold and true to themselves, according to health.com.

Source: Vogue.com, boredpanda.com, mamacax.com, health.com

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