Joseph Bates knows what it means to become an amputee in a moment. Shortly before his Marine unit deployed to Iraq he was driving home when an SUV turned suddenly in to his lane, throwing his motorcycle, mangling his body and ultimately costing him his leg. "I was just going through a normal day - and in Haiti they were just having a normal day - and this jumped out and grabbed me."
Today, Bates is part of the Amputee Coalition of America's peer-to-peer support program where he visits new amputees to show them that life can still be rich and full. While there isn't a peer-to-peer program currently in Haiti, Bates is one of those partnering with msnbc.com to create a virtual version and build a bridge with letters to the new amputees there.
If you're living with an amputation and would like to send a letter sharing your experiences and insight with amputees in Haiti, please enter it in the comment field below for publication. A selection will be translated and given to the patients at Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, Haiti.