Julia – making a difference for fellow young amputees
“As an amputee, your prosthesis should really be something you look forward to using.”
19-year-old Julia Pamp from Lund knows what she’s talking about, and it’s safe to say she has overcome a lot in life - Julia was born with a deformity of her left leg; since birth she’s gone through severe scoliosis, chronic pain and numerous operations. At age 7, mobility difficulties and pain ultimately lead to the decision to amputate; and a couple of months after, she received her first prosthesis.
As Julia was entering her teens a few years later, being more aware of her prosthetic appearance, she was becoming more and more unhappy over the lack of cosmetic options.
“I really didn’t like the traditional option I was offered with that soft foam covered with a nylon stocking. And for me, using the prosthesis completely bare without any cosmetics, wasn’t something I was comfortable with either,” she says.
This unhappiness ultimately resulted in her not wanting to use her prosthesis at all.
A prosthetic look to be proud of
“To feel proud over my prosthesis and how it looked had become a dream for me - I wanted something that better reflected who I am and my own style,” she says.
Working together with us at Anatomic Studios, Julia’s wish first resulted in an edgy, cyborg-inspired cover, and a while ago she got her second cover - a dressy, black and bronze design.
“For my first cover, I wanted something cool that I could match with my everyday style, but for my second cover I felt it was time for something more elegant that I could wear together with a fancy skirt or a dress,” she explains.
Being able to influence the way her prosthesis looks has meant a lot to Julia.
“It adds the feeling of being even more one of a kind than I already am. What I before considered to be a disability is now more like ‘look at me, my leg is cooler than yours!” she says. “The designs are just amazing, both creative and durable and I love the fact that it’s possible to get practically anything in any colour combination. I have a much more positive attitude towards my prosthesis now and the reactions I’ve gotten from other people have also been nothing but positive.”
Mentor for young amputees
From wanting to hide her prosthesis not long ago, to proudly showing it off really is an incredible journey. And now Julia has signed up to volunteer as a mentor for other young amputees.
“I really want to help others, especially younger people who are going through similar things that I’ve gone through. It’s very hard psychologically and you easily feel that you’re extremely alone in your diagnosis. Combining that with everything that comes along with just being a teenager doesn’t really make the situation any easier,” she explains. “Looking back at the times that were the toughest for me, I really missed having someone there who truly understood. That’s why I hope I can help by being that person for someone else in the same situation, whether it’s by offering honest advice or just a friendly shoulder to cry on.”
Plan set for the future
In addition to her mentorship, Julia is currently studying her final year of high school where she specializes in history. A few months remain until graduation, but she’s already set her plan for the future - a plan that will take her beyond the borders of Sweden.
“I want to study international relations with focus on politics at the University of St Andrews in Scotland,” Julia says.
This way, she hopes to continue to make a difference for others also in a broader perspective. And with her strong drive and determination, there’s no doubt that she will.