As a Seattle Seahawks fan living in the Denver area, Judy Berna is feeling like a woman apart these days.
Still, that hasn't stopped her from displaying her devotion to her favorite football team, unpopular as it may be with her neighbors. Berna's pride is so fierce that she had her prosthetic leg emblazoned with Seahawks logos and has made it a point to show it off as much as she can before the Seahawks play the Broncos in this Sunday's Super Bowl.
"The Broncos fans are just about as crazy as the Seahawks fans, so it feels very lonely for this 12th man to be making her way upstream every time I go out in public," Berna writes in an email to Shutdown Corner. "I've continued to wear shorts, to show off my Seahawks leg, along with a jersey or Seahawks shirt.
"Needless to say, I get some looks in public from those people clad in orange."
Berna, a mother of four who proudly points out she shares a birthday with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, was born with spina bifida. She had an amputation done on her left leg in 2004 to improve her mobility and had an easy decision when it came to decorating her new prosthetic. She'd been a Seahawks fan since her teenage years and this was a good way to show off her fandom.
"It's easy to put designs on prosthetic legs these days," Berna writes. "A socket is laminated at the very end of construction so anything can be laminated onto it ... There is a lot of custom art going on sockets these days but mine is simply a piece of Seahawks fabric that I had to buy online since no one in Denver sold it."
Berna wrote a book entitled "Just One Foot: How Amputation Cured My Disability" and does a lot of writing at justonefoot.com and geekmom.com. She's written extensively about the Seahawks, including on how she became a fan despite never having lived in Washington state and why she loves Pete Carroll's approach to coaching.
She has even met a Broncos fan who showed off his Denver pride in the same manner.
"Last fall I went to an adaptive yoga class down in Denver and ended up next to a guy with [a Broncos] leg," Berna writes. "It wasn't until we were both on the mats, with our legs off, that I realized what I was seeing. It was early in the football season but I had a hunch that it could end up a Seahawks-Broncos Super Bowl.
"I snapped the picture, just in case."
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