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There's life after losing your limbs; Pals team up to help amputees.

Byline: ELEANOR BARLOW @eleanorbarlow

TWO Merseyside amputees who met in a chance encounter in New Zealand are setting up a business to help others who have lost limbs.

Former soldier Andy Reid, 36, from St Helens, and 35-year-old Steve Cruse, from Prescot, both have two prosthetic legs.

Andy lost his arm as well as both legs - one above the knee - when he stood on an IED serving in Afghanistan in 2009, while Steve was injured in a car crash in Australia in 2008.

The pair were both on holiday separately in New Zealand in 2010 when Andy saw Steve wearing a different style of prosthetic limb to his.

Andy said: "I went over to ask him where he got his ankle from and when he heard my voice he asked where I was from.

"I said St Helens and he told me he was from Prescot. We've stayed in touch ever since."

In March the pair came up with the idea for community interest company Amputation Inspiration Motivation (AIM).

Steve said: "You meet lots of other people who have lost limbs but me and Andy had the same kind of attitude.

"We both have get up and go."

They plan to provide motivational speaking and team building for corporate events and schools, with funds going back to help amputees.

Andy said: "We want to go and speak to people before they have amputations and show them life goes on after.

"A lot of people assume once you've had an amputation you can't do sport or hobbies you did before, but we can show them that's not the case."

Steve added: "Meeting someone before amputation can make a massive difference to the time it takes them to recover because they go into the operation with a positive attitude."

On Sunday Andy is set to take on a 100 mile bike ride in Manchester to raise money for Wigan charity Joining Jack.

He said: "I hope seeing me doing something like that will inspire other people."

." ?For more information on AIM email


AIM: Andy Reid, left, and Steve Cruse Picture by Stacey Larkin.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 30, 2013
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