Kelley Mann Wells

My story begins the day I was born. I’d like to think it was somewhat relieving for my parents those first few years because I was too young to know and care I was missing my left arm. When I hit that age where I realized I was different, and always would be, the struggle of insecurity, disapproval, and rejection came crashing in. I always felt a little better when I would wear my prosthesis, hoping that no one would notice my arm. This required me to wear a lot of ¾ length and long sleeve shirts during a time when tube tops were every pre-teens dream. As I got older, the easier it got to accept that I had one arm, but that feeling of rejection was always in the back of my mind. That’s when I finally decided to completely trust what the Lord says and rest in Psalms 139, which states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. (Psalms 139:13-16)

From that point on I tried to see any positive in my disability. I began to thank Jesus for everything I had instead of feeling defeated for what I was missing. I was an athletic girl growing up but attempted very few sports. After realizing you have to really enjoy running to be a track star, I decided to change paths. I always liked tennis because it was something I shared with my dad. I tried out for my high school team and played for two years as the number one spot. Life began to feel less challenging.

In college, I started to specifically pray for a man that would love me the way God saw me. These prayers showed me how much God truly loved me as He began to reveal blessing after blessing. My husband and I started off as friends in college so I knew he was well aware of my arm. I’ll never forget the day he told me he thought I was beautiful in every way. I grew up with my parents telling me I was beautiful, but hearing it from him was just different. It was what God had been promising me.

After going on three mission trips to Brazil, I knew my calling was to serve others. I graduated college in 2013 with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I was hired from an internship as a Therapeutic Foster Care Case Worker. Those trips and job were so eye-opening and have allowed me to put my focus towards helping others.   

I came across Lauren’s story early in 2015 and was immediately intrigued by the confidence she displayed as a woman missing her left arm. One of the first things I noticed was how natural her prosthesis looked. I was reading the stories of Lauren, Ashley, and Lisa on The LSK Foundation website when I noticed that there was a place to apply to receive a covering. I thought to myself, why not? I enjoyed filling out the application and telling my story in depth because it allowed me to reflect on some of the funnier moments involving my arm. I received an email in April from Lisa saying they loved my story and wanted to talk more. In July, the LSK team informed me that an organic skincare company called Cocokind was going to be my sponsor and cover all the costs of my cosmetic covering. That was the moment I realized I was about to have an experience that would change my life forever. To top it off, Cocokind featured me and my story on the side of one of their product boxes, which was so special and something I’ll keep forever.

I was so excited when the date was set to go to Dallas to receive my arm. It was the neatest experience to meet Mr. Mike Holt of ARTech and get to know him as he painted the covering to match my skin tone. I think my husband and I both wanted to cry when he told me I’d be able to paint the fingernails. That simple statement meant so much to me, a girl who had gone 26 years without having her nails painted. I’m always at a loss for words when I try to explain what this journey has meant to me. It really could take me all day to explain all the love I’ve received along the way. To Lauren, Ashley and Lisa, thank you for seeing something worthy of my story and allowing me to have this experience. I have enjoyed getting to know all of you so much and admire everything you’re doing to change the lives of young women. To Priscilla and her team at Cocokind, thank you for sponsoring me and having the desire to give back. I will never forget what all you have done for me.

Kelley's silicone restoration was sponsored by our wonderful friends at Cocokind Skincare. 

Diana Gazzano

Before my accident on June 25th, 2016, I was about as active as any 27-year-old can be. Most days you would find me waking up at 5:00am to take a class at my HIIT gym before heading into work. At that time, in fact the day before my accident, I had been promoted to a management position at my job where I had been working for five years prior. In 2011, I moved from northern New Jersey, where I was born and raised, to take an entry level position at my company. I knew that I was taking a risk by picking up my whole life and moving across the country but Arizona was calling me. My brother was already living in Scottsdale, Arizona so it made my decision easier. I also knew that my Dad and my step mother had intentions of retiring to the White Mountains in Arizona. My step sister followed suit too. I am blessed to have moved across the country and have been able to keep my family close.

Some might say that I’ve experienced more loss in my short 28 years then most do in their whole life. My mom, Linda Gazzano, passed away from cancer when I was 15 years old. She was diagnosed with cancer when I was in 7th grade and battled until I was a Junior in high school. I watched her fight until she was too tired to fight anymore. What she probably didn’t realize, myself too, that through her battle she taught me strength, resilience, perseverance and tenacity. She didn’t know that those very powerful teaching moments would ultimately set me up to overcome the loss of my arm. She was, is and will continue to be my hero.

On June 25th, 2016, I was involved in a roll over ATV accident where I lost my right arm above the elbow. I committed from the moment I woke up in the hospital that I would not allow this to define me. I made the decision that I would not be a victim of my circumstance and I would show others that they too can overcome. I found that nothing was more fulfilling then being able to do everything that I once could with one arm. 17 days after my accident I was back in the gym with my trainers doing what I’ve grown a custom to doing. Many people told me it was too soon but I decided it wasn’t.

During these last 15 months, I’ve truly gained more than I’ve lost. That may be difficult for some to understand. I’ve gained a new appreciate for life, I’ve grown stronger than I ever could with two arms and I’ve overcome more than I ever thought I would. The truth is, I would not change a thing. I’m back in the gym everyday like I once was and I’m a better person because of what happened to me.

On September 5th of last year, my fiancé asked me to marry him. He, along with my family have been the most incredible support system. Without them I would not be nearly as far along as I am. I am the luckiest person in the world to have them. I am so excited to know that I will be able to have beautiful silicone covering for my prosthesis on my wedding day. I never thought that I would need to worry about how my arm would look on my wedding day but The LSK Foundation, ArTech and Advanced Arm Dynamics have put me at ease. I am so honored and grateful that they have chosen me as their very first recipient. I hope that one day I will be able to be as impactful on someone as they have been on me. I am forever grateful to the whole team.

Photos by Advanced Arm Dynamics