Cara Beckman

Cara Beckman has been an active member of the Finger and Partial Hand Amputee Peer + Support Group since joining in June 2019. Since that time, she has provided tips, asked questions, shared her thoughts, and most importantly given support to her fellow members whenever she could. After getting to know her a little bit more, we were amazed by her eagerness to continue living an active lifestyle and her courage to try new things out of her comfort zone.

“On December 6th, 2018, I experienced the worst day of my life. My morning shift started as any other day but ended in no way I could have ever expected—me being rushed to the ER and losing two and a half fingertips on my left hand,” Cara recalls.

It was a slower day for Cara at the juice and smoothie shop where she was working in Vancouver, B.C. She was juicing some vegetables when the juicer suddenly stopped working, not an uncommon occurrence when making a fiber-heavy drink. Cara immediately placed more vegetable matter—as she always does—to try to push the objects down. In the process of unclogging the juicer, it started working again pulling her hand down into the machine.

Like so many of our wearers have described the moments after their accidents, waiting for the ambulance felt like forever for Cara. The 15-minute drive from the shop to the hospital gave her too much time to keep replaying in her head the incident that just happened.

Recovery and Therapy
Clouded with fears and doubts, Cara was still ready to get to work on her recovery. Within a month, Cara began doing physical therapy to help desensitize her nubs and gain the strength back on her fingers. Her exercise regimen included a lot of time on the rowing machine and lifting a one-pound weight on her fingers.

Prior to her accident, Cara was an avid yogi and enjoyed practicing inversions (yoga poses where the heart is higher from the ground than the head) and handstands. “I spent a year doing physical therapy to regain my strength in my left hand, but I still felt as though I was struggling to hold and grip my mat as I practiced yoga,” she recalls. Every time she tried to balance her weight, she would fall backwards due to the lack of grip and support.

Naked Prosthetics Journey
Suffering from a partial-hand or finger amputation can be extremely debilitating. “I struggled not only with the physical pain, but also accepting that I lost something I could never get back,” says Cara. In fact, when she first started looking at her options, she only wanted a cosmetic prosthesis because she felt that she needed her hands to look like “her hands” again. After hearing more about Naked Prosthetics from her physical therapist, she realized that she needed something more functional. Many referrals later, Cara gained approval for Naked Prosthetics devices and six months later she received her two PIPDrivers.

We always say that the smallest things make the biggest impact. “The first thing I did as soon as I got in the driver’s seat of my car was use my turn signal,” she says. “There are so many things I used to take for granted that I can now appreciate with my functional devices,” Cara adds. Within just a week of practice, Cara was able to hold a side plank—which was something she has not been able to do since her accident—and even asked others to attempt to push her over to really test the grip. She continues to relearn more complicated yoga poses and inversions.

Each person’s prosthetic experience is different. Some people would put on their prostheses and immediately perform tasks in a way that is almost like they never lost their digits. For some though, especially the ones who have adapted and relearned to do things without prosthetic intervention, a little more practice is required. During the early stages of getting to know her prostheses and their capabilities, Cara had to put in more effort in relearning to type with her PIPDrivers but as time went on, typing became much easier and faster.

A More Confident Cara
Last year, Cara took up rock climbing, an activity that many of her friends enjoy. She started going more just before the pandemic and eventually fell in love with the sport. When asked about the other fitness activities that she would like to try next, she says “Anything. I am more adventurous now. I think of it as a challenge. If other people can do it, I can do the same, just a little differently.” Cara’s devices gave her the ability to grip the rocks when climbing, grip her mat when practicing yoga, type on her computer when taking notes at school, and more.

Joining the Support Group
The day Cara learned about Naked Prosthetics was also the same day she joined the support group. “That was a big thing that really helped me to see that other people are going through the same thing. The group honestly helped me the most. The daily struggles, the small things that you don’t really think about,” she shares.

The Finger and Partial-Hand Amputee Peer + Support Group was created specifically for this very reason: to let individuals know that they are not alone. We are constantly amazed by the strength, resilience, and heart of our members and Cara’s presence and involvement didn’t go unnoticed. Within two months of being a member, she created this video compiling a number of responses from our members about common hand and finger amputee misconceptions:

“You may feel hopeless in the moment, but it does get better. And you will be surprised at what you could learn. I am a different person now and I grew from the experience.” – Cara Beckman, Two PIPDrivers

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Jeanie McGarvey | Advocate

Jeanie is based out of Ohio where she wears four PIPDrivers, three MCPDrivers, and one ThumbDriver.

Read her story here.

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Jaime Perkins | Ambassador

Jaime Perkins injured four of his fingers while working with a jointer in his workshop in 2020. A well-respected builder, he joins Naked Prosthetics with his own audience of over 606,000 YouTube channel subscribers for Perkins Builder Brothers, a company started by his architect father, that he shares with his brother, Erik. Jaime joined as a NPChampion Ambassador after experiencing for himself the functionality afforded by the MCPDrivers. Jaime lives in North Carolina with his wife Jaime and their three children.

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Matt Finney | Ambassador

At age 36, Matt lost several digits due to vascular occlusion. After a several-year struggle that led him down a dark and troubled path, Matt found his way to Naked Prosthetics to become the first to wear each of the three custom, body-driven devices together: one PIPDriverTM, one MCPDriverTM, and one ThumbDriverTM. Because of his directness and candor, Matt has become a popular addition to conferences and speaking engagements that Naked Prosthetics participates in. Matt now owns his own successful concrete finishing business, something he says wouldn’t have been possible without the technology behind his devices.

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Moises Aramburo | Ambassador

Moises spends his time traveling between California and Mexico. In the Summer of 2012, Moises and his friend took their truck out after a tropical storm in Mexico to assess the local damage. While towing a vehicle stuck in the flood, they decided to try something new – boogie boarding on the flooded streets. An accident with the rope caused four of his fingers on his right hand to be torn off. Moises wears a four-digit GripLock finger with socketing from the Ossur team.

GLF Designed + Manufactured by Naked Prosthetics. Socket Fabrication by Hanger Clinic and Össur.

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Natasha Baggett | Ambassador

Natasha lost two of her fingers to a woodworking accident at home in 2019. A beef and poultry farmer, artist, and mother to five girls, Natasha wears two of our MCPDrivers and was a beta tester for our Conductive Tip and Rose Gold finish. Since her accident, she has devoted much of her time and energy to the amputee community, sharing her journey and helping other amputees find acceptance and purpose from within. For those reasons and more, Natasha is a welcome addition to the NPChampion Ambassador family and a warm and engaging advocate for the amputee community.

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Nick Armstrong | Ambassador

As a beta tester for Naked Prosthetics, Nick Armstrong was instrumental in the development of the MCPDriver. At the time Nick suffered a workplace injury in 2012 that left him with amputations on five of his fingers, prosthetic options that would allow him to get back to work as a welder and auto mechanic and back to taking care of his farm didn’t exist. In 2015 Naked Prosthetics began testing the MCPDriver, and Nick provided the necessary real-life testing and feedback to assure the devices’ performance in harsh environments. Nick lives in Illinois and speaks alongside NP regularly to groups about his story and the functionality and confidence his devices provide.

Trevor Thibodeux | Ambassador

Born and raised in Louisiana, Trevor is a calm soul with a southern charm that draws you in. Trevor’s left hand was injured on the job in late 2020, repairing a machine that feeds, cuts, and seals velcro. While fixing the machine the operator started up the machine and the blade took his middle and ring finger, cutting the tendon on his index finger, and crushing his pinkie. As our newest NPChampion Ambassador, he wears two MCPDrivers and is motivated by the thought of helping someone like himself no longer be afraid of life.

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Ashley Umbaugh | Advocate

A mother to two young children, it is important for her to not miss a thing. Outdoor enthusiast and whim taker, Ashley, was trying something new, riding a motorcycle. In the Summer of 2021 she joined her husband on the road when she lost control of the bike. In an attempt to save her leg from being crushed, she threw her hand to rest on the band which sucked her fingers into the sprocket and amputated her middle finger. Her device has given her more than function, it has given her hope. With the help of her MCPDriver, she wants to spread hope to everyone in this community.

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John Powers | Advocate

John is an artist based out of New York. He wears one ThumbDriver and one MCPDriver.

Read his story here.

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Kenneth Brunke | Advocate

Father of four, Marine Corps Veteran, and woodworker, Ken, lost his left thumb, index finger, ring and pinkie finger in a table saw accident mid 2021. Ken’s three-digit MCPDriver and ThumbDriver has allowed him to turn his woodworking skills from a hobby into a full business. His unabashed willingness to share his story through humor and charm are a welcome addition to the NPChampions program.

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Michael Stanton | Advocate

Michael brings energy and positivity to every conversation he has and is sure to leave you with a smile. A splinter was all it took. Early 2019 Michael was working when a small piece of wood lodged itself into his hand. Unfortunately, after removing it the wound became infected and required his right thumb to be amputated. With the help of his ThumbDriver, Michael hasn’t let this slow him down!

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Stephanie Brassard | Advocate

Stephanie lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and is passionate about inspiring other amputees to know that losing fingers isn’t the end and that they can overcome challenges that they may face. Self proclaimed “accident prone” sawmill worker and physical trainer, Stephanie, wasn’t surprised when she crushed her fingers. In November, 2019 she went to grease a machine when she noticed it was still on. Before she could pull away it had grabbed onto her hand, removing her left thumb and pointer finger. Stephanie wears one MCPDriver and a ThumbDriver. She wants to help inspire other amputees to know that losing fingers is not the end and that they too can overcome challenges.

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Tammy Stolle | Advocate

Tammy is a court reporter in South Dakota and wears one MCPDriver.

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Alycia Kerrigan-Mize | Agent

College student and competitive swimmer Alycia lost a majority of her pinkie finger in an accident at only 15 years old. With the use of her PIPDriver, she’s rediscovered her confidence and uses her platforms to share her story and inspire others.

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John Hillard | Agent

Retired Navy Veteran, John is settled in Noblesville, Indiana. After losing his thumb in a circular saw accident, he regained functionality with his ThumbDriver and is back to creating beautiful woodworking pieces.

John Thompson | Agent

John wears two MCPDrivers. Born and raised in Brandon, Mississippi, he lives with his wife and daughter and enjoys staying active outdoors.

Nelisiwe Nxumalo | Agent

Nelisiwe wears two MCPDrivers. An adventurous and captivating woman, she travels the world sharing snaps along the way.

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Darrel Comeau | Ambassador

Darrel joins us from Alberta, Canada after losing much of his index finger in a workplace accident late in 2017. He was checking a fit up for one of his crew members when an improperly tacked steel beam dropped on his finger. A jack of many trades, Darrel is not only a construction site foreman but also a gifted photographer. He wears an MCPDriver. As some of his biggest fans, Naked Prosthetics looks forward to highlighting his work and his story.

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