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Welcome! If you've found your way here, you've heard something about my book or my journey.
My name is Judy Johnson Berna and I can be defined by many words. I'm a wife (for over two decades now), a mom (four times over), a sister, aunt, daughter, friend, neighbor...you get the idea. But eight years ago I added the word Amputee to my list.
Unlike most amputees, I chose to have my leg cut off. I spent almost thirty years hating my left foot, which grew crooked as a side effect of a mild case of Spina Bifida. I saw amputees doing things I could never even imagine (like running and jumping). It made me jealous. And honestly, a bit mad.
The internet finally caught up with my desire for answers. I began digging to find any reason why it didn't make sense for me to get rid of my old foot and upgrade to a new one.
When I finally felt like I'd done enough research and asked enough questions, I began my search for a doctor. Most wouldn't even consider the option since my foot wasn't diseased. It didn't seem to matter that my increasing immobility was holding me back from the life I wanted to live.
I love my new leg. It gets me where I need to go and gives me opportunities I never had with my old withered foot. Make no mistake, though. This is not the story of a super athlete amputee. I'm as amazed as you are when I see amputees pushing the limits at the Paralympics. But you'll never see me poised at a starting line.
You'll never see me standing on top of Everest. Or swimming the English Channel. Or even hiking the Appalacian Trail. I needed new mobility so I could do much smaller things...the things that mattered to me.
You will see (on this website, in fact) pictures of me hiking with my kids. You'll see us standing under amazing red rock arches in Utah and getting ready to mount our bikes on a mountain trail. You'll see four kids who don't care that mom isn't a super athlete. All that matters to them is that she showed up for them.
So if you haven't bought the book, see the link on the right side of this page. If you still aren't convinced you want to, scroll through some of the other pages you'll find on this site. Whether you know an amputee, carry the title yourself, or need to make your own big life decision, I think my story will speak to you.
At its core my message is this: Do what it takes to get the life you really want.