“What was important to me,” Viola says, “was to return to independence. And in order to do that, I needed to have the tools to work with. And that tool was my prosthesis.” Viola radiates many things–hope, energy, optimism–while barely even acknowledging that she has lost a leg.
Viola does not want anything to slow her down. “To be fortunate [and] blessed enough to have [a prosthetic leg] that was the same shape and color as my leg, a leg of color– it was just fantastic. So when I wear dresses it is not obvious.” She marvels at the fact that there are subtle freckles on her prosthesis that match the ones on her leg exactly.
Viola moves quickly away from the topic of her prosthesis to enthuse about her business and volunteer activities. It is clear that she does not accept anything but full-out effort from anyone, least of all herself. Among many other things, she runs a business tutoring students “for excellence,” in particular for better performance on the SAT and PSAT exams. She swells up with pride when she talks about a very successful student who recently invited Viola to her high school graduation. Viola is also looking into getting a PhD in addition to her existing degrees, and enjoys volunteering for political campaigns.
She advises that the most necessary thing to get back into the swing of life after losing a limb is motivation and a refusal to give in to complacency. Viola declares that it’s important to expose people to what is possible, and to talk about it– to show them a reason to hope, and to show them what they can achieve if they aspire to it. Meanwhile, she’s far too busy to let a little thing like a prosthetic limb break her stride–she has too many people to help and inspire.