NEW YORK - When severe medical complications left Marcia Chambers a quadruple amputee three years ago, she turned to a higher power to find acceptance.
"We're all here for a purpose and mine is to help others," she said.
Chambers and others who have lost limbs meet at Lynbrook Restorative Therapy & Nursing on the second Wednesday of every month. The facility is the first on Long Island to offer an amputee support group. Director Lisa Penziner came up with the idea to provide a lifeline for people living with limb loss.
"I have people coming in saying they've been looking for it for months and they couldn't find somewhere," she said.
The group started with two people a few months ago and now there are 12. Because of the demand, they're expanding into other areas of Nassau County next month and open to be in Suffolk County by the end of the year.
Marc Beres lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident eight years ago. He's been with the group since the beginning.
"The regulars that come here enjoy seeing me," he said. "I offer them tidbits to get them through a simple task."
One of the newest members- Christopher St. Remy who was born as a below the knee amputee. For him, the group is a way to share some of the challenges he faces.
"For me it was sports, playing able-bodied basketball and seeing how able-bodied people develop throughout their life, growing and running faster when for me it was always one speed," he said.
St. Remy has learned it’s not always about speed it's about finishing strong.
According to the Amputee Coalition of America, it's estimated that there are about 185,000 new lower-extremity amputations each year and about 2 million American amputees.