What is the summary for A Leg to Stand On?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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This is a wonderful and inspirational book!  First, let me mention that there are two books with this name, and the one I am speaking of is A Leg to Stand on, which is the way which it is usually referred, but the full title is A Leg to Stand On:  An Amputee's Walk into Motherhood.  (There is another book called A Leg to Stand On, but it is by Oliver Sacks.  If that is the book you are speaking of, feel free to repost the question with the specific author mentioned.)  A Leg to Stand On:  An Amputee's Walk into Motherhood is a wonderful story about a woman with a severe physical disability who learns to embrace motherhood.

The strong and independent woman in question is Colleen Haggerty, who lost one of her legs during senior year in high school.  Haggerty describes the loss and the two choices she had to fight between:  allowing her disability to define her or NOT allowing her disability to define her.  Haggerty chooses the latter, of course!  Haggerty describes her embrace of the world of sports while she "tests her body" to see how much it could do.  She describes her experiences on the ski team, the soccer team, the kayaking team, and a hiking team! 

Haggerty not only shows her perseverance with sports, but also with love!  After lots of dating both the humble and the prideful, Haggerty finally chooses to marry Mark and to become a mother.  Just like any young mom, Haggerty isn't ready for the physical freedom she has to give up!  However, Haggerty embraces her new calling with both love and acceptance, ... and redemption.

In conclusion, it's important to realize that this inspirational story is also a redemption story.  Haggerty ends up able to forgive the man (Harvey) who was responsible for the accident that left her disabled.  Haggerty actually has the courage to meet with Harvey, the man who was responsible for the accident that left her disabled) who turns the tables when he insists again and again:

I'd give you my leg if I could.

Haggerty ends up able to forgive Harvey and, in doing that, becomes an inspiration to her own children and to us all.

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