Steve Ziehr was significantly injured in a workplace accident in 2004, severely breaking both his legs. While this could have derailed his goal of pursuing a career in engineering and construction management, it in fact galvanized his focus and stoked his drive to ensure this challenge did not dictate his life. Early on in this journey, he came to see himself as a torch bearer for those with disabilities whom for whatever reason had become marginalized and thus felt relegated to the fringes of society.
Through his physical rehabilitation, Steve earned his Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology (Hons), and went on to a successful career, working on a plethora of diverse construction projects around the globe.Through Steve’s journey of schooling and career he was battling degenerative chronic pain conditions from his initial injuries. This culminated in his election to have a below knee amputation of his right leg in 2016. Since, his world has reopened to him as his relationships thrive, recreational activities convalesce, career opportunities abound, and most important the opportunities to assist his fellow amputee present themselves. Steve feels quite fortunate to have joined the ACBC at an exciting time of growth and opportunity and looks forward to assisting with it's future success.
April Ziehr is Steve's better half of 23yrs. She has experience and knowledge as she has been following alongside Steve's journey of injury, chronic pain, and amputation. April worked in the medical industry for over 10yrs, as well in office management, and volunteer coordination/management positions. April has been volunteering since an early age and believes strongly in giving back to the community. April has educational background includes the Bachelor of Business Admin program at Mount Royal University,the Administrative Professional Certificate program at SAIT and Marketing Management at KPU. April is the Secretary for ACBC and the Marketing and Events coordinator. April loves to spend time with her husband, their 11yr old Chihuahua Peanut and their daughter. April paints, makes jewelry, loves photography and travel.
Madeleine Anderson has been an amputee since 1967 as a result of a motorcycle accident. Since 1976 she has been active in many aspects of the disability community at large and the amputee population in particular. Beginning with 3 track downhill skiing and trying other sports over the years, she has served primarily as a volunteer on various boards both provincial (BC & Alberta) and national. In addition, there have been and a few staff positions along the way.
In 2008, seeing a greater need for information to reach primarily new amputees, Madeleine co-founded the ACBC. This has been quite the career shift having a BFA in Environmental Design from Pratt Institute, NY. She still keeps her ‘hand in’ with design issues. Now, officially ‘retired’ and still quite active, she currently serves on two other boards including the End The Pain Project that she Co-founded also in 2008. This project helps eliminate or diminish Phantom Limb pain in amputees around the globe by non medical-non invasive procedures.
Madeleine spends any free time gardening & boating. She enjoys music, concerts, cooking nutritious food, dining out, her grandchildren, reading and more...
Norvena Macfarlane 56 yrs, is a mother and grandmother. She leads a very active life with family and friends, travelling and continues to live as normal a life as she did prior to her amputation, and does not feel she is disabled, as she continues to do every day activities, daily chores, & driving without any modifications to her vehicle or home.
She has been a right below knee amputee since November 2009 due to complications from diabetes. She was rehabilitated in Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver, where she became very active in organizing an in house support group educating resident amputees, new and old, their families and friends.
In 2012 she became a certified Peer Visitor with the Amputee Coalition of Canada, where she will voice her support, give encouragement and always tries to emulate a positive attitude to amputees.
No longer being able to work in her profession, she is devoting herself to volunteer in education and research regarding amputees. Most recently she is a member of the Committee, developing the ACBC website.
Felicia Shafiq is a bilateral below knee amputee. She is also a daughter, a software support engineer, and a member of the National Women’s Sitting Volleyball team. Felicia lost her legs due to pneumococcal pneumonia and streptococcus causing septic shock in 2011. Since then, with the help of her family, and her team of doctors and physiotherapists, she is back to work, and back to playing a sport she loved. To Felicia, getting back to life, and living a healthy and independent life was the top priority after her amputation. There have been many challenges and setbacks, but with the help of her strong support network and a positive attitude, she is living her life without limits.
Gary Richardson is an active 75 year old amputee with a right knee disarticulation resulting from a motorcycle accident. During his lifetime he has worked at a myriad of jobs including banking, truck driving, self-employed logging, managing garages, Operations Manager for a Marketing Research firm, construction Grademan and Supervisor (site preparation and road building), and working in a mental hospital.
Gary obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree at UBC with a psychology major, and retired after 25 years as a Disability Awards Officer with the Workers Compensation Board. This job entailed assessing percentage of disability, determining loss of earnings and granting pensions to disabled workers.
Currently certified with ACC as a Peer Visitor, Gary has done many such visits. He is also available to the prosthetic students at BCIT and to the physiotherapist students at UBC for their training programs.
Gary is the Visitation Director for the Association for Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.), providing support to injured motorcyclists in hospital and out. He produced a Recovery Journal for A.I.M. containing advice regarding Benefits and Resources, information about insurance and legal issues, and a diary, which he provides to injured motorcyclists in hospital. Gary also developed a Training Manual, Training Course and Certification Program for A.I.M.'s Visitation Volunteers. He has trained and certified volunteers from other agencies as well.
Gary has owned several motorcycles -- from mopeds to Harleys -- and has logged over 1/2 million “bike miles”, travelling around North America. Hobbies include riding motorcycles (two-wheelers, trikes, side-hacks, whatever), judging motorcycle/car shows, photography, writing, travelling, and visiting downed riders and amputees.
Gary has been on the ACBC Board of Directors many years and is happy to see us moving forward towards our goals.
My name is Donna Robertson. My life has been amazing and full of adventures and challenges. I have been an amputee for six years. I have had Type 1 Diabetes since childhood. After a serious leg trauma and fifteen years of further complication and surgeries, my ankle collapsed. My first thought when I saw the X-ray was “Well, that’s coming off.” There was no way this was going to stop me. After the surgery, healing and rehab, I was on my wayagain. Life evolves. I had to stop working as an early childhood educator but I still have a very active life. I enjoy every day in this current adventure and look forward to being able to share my experiences with fellow amputees through ACBC.
In March of 2013, the family was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, and I cut my left leg on a low wall at the hotel we were staying at. I had wrapped the cut up and thought no more of it. In late April, the area was still inflamed and I went to Richmond Hospital for blood work and x-rays. I was advised that due to my Type 2 diabetes, the infection was far too along that the lower leg would have to be removed.
I was sent to Holy Family Hospital for rehab. Christmas had come early that year. The date was August 5th when I received my new leg.
Two areas have been a major influence in my life, travel and community projects. It's been my pleasure to promote destinations here in British Columbia and market products produced in BC for export around the globe.
At the community level, I've held volunteer positions with BC Special Olympics (Fund Raising, and two years as President). Ten years with the Parkinson's Society of BC as a volunteer Board Member. Two of those years I was on the National Board in Toronto.
My present project is with the Amputee Coalition of BC as a Board Member. We have produced a website to be used as a resource to the 75,000 amputees here in BC alone.
Legacy Board Members
Jean Hannon lives a full and happy life as a bilateral amputee.
In 2010, at 84 years of age, Jean lost both legs below the knee due to complication due to Charcot–Marie–Tooth and other complications. Jean is a loving mother and doting grandmother with a close circle of friends and family. She lives alone, manages household chores, grocery shops, and prepares her own meals. As a young woman, Jean loved to travel. She continues her adventures now by riding the Canada Line, Vancouver buses, and the Sea Bus. During her outings, Jean spreads the word about limb loss by educating anyone who asks about her situation. Jean’s motto is “seeing is believing”, and hopes her exploits will allow everyone to see the need for more research and support for amputees. Jean Hannon has retired from Provincial Social Work and Provincial Probation Services. Now, Jean is a Certified Peer Visitor for the Amputee Coalition of Canada, and an ACBC board member.
Don lost his left leg, below knee, in June 2010 due to an arterial blood clot. He was 64 years of age at the time. He remains active in several areas concerning amputees. They include support groups, volunteer work in education regarding amputees at both UBC (Physiotherapy Program) & BCIT (Prosthetics Program), and as a volunteer subject for research projects at BCIT and GF Strong Hospital. He is a trained Peer Visitor in the Amputee Coalition of Canada’s Peer Visitor Program. Don was a proponent of physical fitness for all of his adult life; a long distance runner, a regular gym attendee, a snow & water skier, and an avid snorkeler with tropical fish. He maintains a fitness program at a local YMCA. He is a frequent traveller who loves tropical locations. Don joined the Board of Directors of ACBC in early 2014 at the age of 68. He is appreciative for the opportunity to assist other amputees & their families and to help inform the general public in the area of amputation.