SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

June 28, 2014

Column: Group offers help, friendship for local amputees

Over the many years that I have served this region as president and board member of a number of organizations, like The Essex National Heritage Commission, The Salem Partnership, Danvers Council on Aging, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem and North Shore Elder Services serving five communities in southern Essex County, I have always had a strong commitment to this region and all of the organizations that I have chosen to serve. All of the groups I have picked to serve are playing a role in the development of the overall quality of life in Essex County.

Ever since my leg amputation almost four years ago, I have been searching for an organization that I could assist that would provide a level of support to the hundreds of people in this region with the disability of an amputated limb. I have also learned how critical the support of such an organization that offers advice, counsel and support to that group of residents of this region can be.

I have found that group, and I am pleased to be serving as the clerk, treasurer of COP-AA. I write this to inform the readers of The Salem News about the mission and challenges that COP-AA is striving to improve.

I was recently made aware of a fact about the aging of Essex County, by the director of the Danvers Senior Center, who points out the need of this region for organizations like COP-AA, which has been created to serve the needs of handicapped people in the region. She recently advised that in 2015 there will be more people in this region that are over the age of 65 than there will be people under the age of 16. This indicates to me that there will be more and more residents in this region suffering from disabilities that make organizations like COP-AA critical. The president of COP-AA is Mary “Poise” Mansfield, who, like me, also has the disability of an artificial limb, as do others on our governing board.

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