3DPO was very excited to be able to return to the Alamo City, San Antonio, TX for the 2019 Amputee Coalition’s National Conference. He had visited San Antonio before on a trip to learn about Medicare coding. So he packed his blue glitter cowboy hat one more time so he would be able to blend in with the locals. The Marriott Rivercenter on the San Antonio Riverwalk was the host hotel for the more than 1000 attendees - including those with limb loss and limb difference, family, friends and healthcare providers.
San Antonio was experiencing a bit of an unusual cool spell for the event, with the sunny summer days a mild mid to upper 80’s in temperature. This allowed attendees to enjoy strolling on the Riverwalk and check out the Alamo when they weren’t attending the three days’ worth of classes, exhibits and other activities. Breakfast and lunch were served to attendees, and a big dinner and dance closed the conference with some Texas Two Step on the dance card for sure.
Adrianne Haslet, professional ballroom dancer and instructor, taught some dance moves at the First Dance session (sponsored by OPAF) to prepare those who needed a little encouragement. Adrianne lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, and has been a passionate advocate for the limb loss community ever since. 3DPO would have liked to ask her to the Saturday night dance, but he was too shy.
3DPO did meet some Dankmeyer friends and clinical partners who were working in the exhibit hall. Sean from Infinite Biomedical Technologies was there and showed 3DPO some new devices. 3DPO was very proud that Dankmeyer works with IBT on some of their research projects. (You can read about Dankmeyer and IBT by clicking here.) He also stopped by and said hello to two members of the Johns Hopkins Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department. Doctors Mary Kessler and Marlis Gonzalez were there to talk about the research programs at Johns Hopkins that amputees might be interested in, including the new Osseointegration Clinic.
3DPO attended several lectures, including two on the Amputee Coalition’s Advocacy program. He also listened to Lesleigh Sisson’s talk about “Partnering With Your Prosthetist for the Best Care.” Lesleigh met 3DPO when he visited Las Vegas for a conference a few years ago, when he accidentally got lost and didn’t make it home until weeks later. Some people thought he had run off with a show girl, but he had gotten packed in a box of returning exhibit materials. He missed several weeks work because of that little incident. 3DPO also let Digit follow along one day so Digit could meet some of the dogs at the Canine Companions for Independence booth. One of the dogs was a seven month old puppy in training and tried to eat Digit’s service vest.
3DPO dreamed of meeting some of the San Antonio Spurs basketball team while he was in San Antonio. They could just be walking around on the Riverwalk. He was very excited that Tim Duncan was going to be an assistant coach for the upcoming season. 3DPO had to settle for the team’s mascot, when he found the Spurs Coyote taking a break from summer training. Since he couldn’t take Adrianne to the dance, this would have to do!