By Chanda Temple Guster
November 10, 2009, 5:30AM
After losing part of his left leg following a 2004 motorcycle accident in Birmingham, Chris Osborne started helping people who faced amputation or were having a tough time dealing with losing a limb.
His visits to hospital rooms became a ministry of sorts for him.
“I am honest about the journey, but reassure them of the benefits of making the most out of their life,” said Osborne, who underwent six weeks of physical therapy and learned how to use a prosthetic leg. “Every visit is ended with a prayer for their strength and the opportunity to thank God for their life and for their restoration.”
Now, his message is going national.
Osborne, 37, of Forestdale will be one of 10 people who will share stories of triumph in Mutual of Omaha commercials slated to air in spring 2010. The commercials are part of the company’s Aha Moment Campaign that highlights inspirational stories.
The company visited 25 cities earlier this year and made 1,000 tapings. Osborne, three sisters and a woman from Birmingham were among 75 semi-finalists selected for the first round of voting in an early October online contest.
A second round of online voting with 25 candidates happened in late October. The top 10 favorites were announced this month.
“I’m extremely honored that so many people thought enough about me and my story to vote,” he said. “There were some really incredible ‘Aha Moments’ from people here in Birmingham and around the country.”
Osborne, a former reporter for ABC 33/40, currently handles public affairs for the American Red Cross in Birmingham.
He said that when he had his accident, his left leg was amputated above the knee. After physical therapy, he got around with the help of two crutches, then one crutch, then a cane before he was walking with no assistance.
“Everything is normal. The only difference is it takes a little longer to get up stairs,” he said. “I have very few limitations.”
He got married in 2007, and had a son in July. He also drives, plays golf, hunts deer, goes boating, stays active with his Omega Psi Phi Fraternity brothers, is a member of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church and rides a motorcycle.
“I still understand the risks of riding a motorcycle, but it’s something I do enjoy,” he said. “It’s a part of me.”
To see Chris Osborne’s clip and the other nine winning spots, go to www.ahamoment.com/vote.Tags: amputated, amputation, Chris Osborne, prosthetic