Limb Loss Awareness Month

In the spirit of Limb Loss Awareness Month, we are pleased to share this powerful article about Clara in the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

 Click here to read the article!

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Sharing Clara’s story is a great honor for us. We continue to be moved by and impressed with her progress and influence in the world.

If you haven’t watched Bionic Stride and would like to,

check it out on Amazon!



Bionic Stride is on Amazon!


Bionic Stride is now available to rent or purchase on Amazon!!! It’s been a long time coming, so THANK YOU for your patience, enthusiasm and encouragement! It would mean the world to us if you shared it with anyone you think might be interested.

You can find it right here, or by searching “Bionic Stride” on Amazon 😉

Northampton Film Festival

Bionic Stride received a lot of very positive feedback at NFF a few months back.  This audience was particularly receptive, because it took place at the gorgeous Academy of Music located in Clara’s hometown. Some attendees knew Clara personally, and were moved by watching her journey. We are so grateful for each opportunity to show Bionic Stride to a new group of curious people, and watch them leave inspired by her resolute commitment to reclaim mobility.

Update on Clara

Clara is doing well overall. Albeit Osseointegration is not a perfect solution, it saves her time and allows her to walk for longer than she was able to before, although she still experiences pain. She and her partner Jeff along with their two cats have moved into an accessible apartment in downtown Northampton, which encourages her to walk more often.

Osseointegration has also been a catalyst for increasing her kinesthetic awareness and implementing healthy eating habits. Both socket prosthetics and OI share the same truth: walking for amputees is easier the lower the body weight is. She has already noticed a difference in ease after losing weight!

Winter is especially tough, since her knees don’t have “stair mode” and deep snow is tough to get through. Nonetheless, she reports that this winter is much better than last year’s. The pain she experiences is different than what she felt with sockets, and lessens when she stretches regularly. Amazingly, she STILL has not had an infection, which is extremely rare for a double AK amputee after OI surgery.


We don’t currently have any screenings booked, although we are exploring the possibility of a showing at Smith College (Clara is an alumna.) We are open to booking additional screenings as long as we are working in close contact with someone from the venue and/or organization who is able to co – host and assist with marketing outreach.

Send us an email if you’re interested in booking one!

Augusta and Clara in college, circa 2009

Thank you all again for your support and interest in this production! We could not have done it without you 💕

Premiere Review and MassIFF Nomination

Hello everyone!

We are thrilled to announce that Bionic Stride was accepted at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival and nominated for best doc! We’re so humbled to receive this news and excited to be featured among so many excellent filmmakers. We’ll both be there and would love to see you!!



The festival will take place at The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA next weekend. Tickets are available here. NOTE: Bionic Stride is being screened in block A3 – Day 1 (next Friday, August 25th.) If you’re not planning to attend the entire festival, this is the ticket you want! Check out the lineup on their website to learn about the other films that will be screened during our block 😉

Joe speaks during the Q&A portion of the premiere screening

In late April, Bionic Stride premiered at Images Cinema. We were delighted to see some of our good friends there, make new connections, and answer lots of great questions. We realized during the Q&A that exactly one year ago (to the day) we were landing in Sydney, ready to document Clara’s Osseointegration experience! A pretty neat coincidence 🙂 

Joe, Clara, and Augusta at the Bionic Stride premiere

I’d like to take a moment to share a brief personal reflection.  Ever since I received the phone call about Clara’s accident when I was a senior in highschool, I’ve been invested in documenting her commitment to regaining mobility. When I photographed her using her first legs with computerized knees (see photo display below) I was in a continual state of admiration as I watched how well she adjusted and normalized her life with prosthetics. 

Sharing a sweet moment with Clara 

Not only has producing Bionic Stride been an incredible learning experience, it’s been the catalyst for deepening my own gratitude practice. I have loved every minute of production, no matter how exhausted we were or what challenges we faced. I’m very proud to be friends with Clara and to have the opportunity to share her amazing story.

Film photos courtesy of Augusta Rose Photography – on display at Images the month of April

I’ve remained inspired by Clara throughout the filmmaking process, and my team has kept me honest and ambitious. Creating this movie was one of the most fulfilling events of my life. I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for the love and encouragement of our supporters. You are the reason we could do this. You are the reason why it exists. We are so grateful for you. Know that we are sending all that love right back ❤

Look out for the next blog post about future screenings and how to pre-order a digital or hard copy of Bionic Stride! Details coming soon….

Until then – be well, and hope to see you at the festival!


Walking Free

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since we last posted! We have been busy writing and preparing for the deep dive into the editing process, as well as looking into screening possibilities once the video is completed. Very exciting stuff! We will keep you updated on our progress, of course 😉


We paid Clara a visit recently for our final shoot, and found her happy, healthy, and in very good spirits. She told us that although she still needs to budget her walking time somewhat, she is walking substantially more than she was using sockets. She told us about her new part-time job, which she enjoys and says is quite manageable in terms of mobility. Thankfully, she has not had an infection (she made sure to “knock on wood” when she told us this) and we are all hopeful that this remains the case.

Interviewing Clara

re-editShe is now walking with either one crutch or none, and her gait is impressive. She told us that some people don’t even realize she is an amputee! Overall, Osseointegration definitely seems to be the right choice for her. She shared with us that she feels it was all worth it, and that she’s pleased with her decision. We are both happy for her and excited for her future walking freely!

clara-1For this last shoot, we brought in our good friend Barny and his trusty drone, Daisy. We managed to get some gorgeous shots of Northampton along with the interview.clara-5

Thank you as always, for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for The Next Step’s production. We are so grateful for this community that has been built around Clara’s incredible story, and humbled to have the opportunity to share it with you all. Much love!



Until next time…

~Joe & Augusta



*This blog post title was inspired by Dr. Munjed’s book, Walking Free.


Walking with Osseointegration

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since we posted an update! We have been busy going over the footage from Australia (which was a wonderful experience overall), but are grateful to be settling in North Adams after traveling. We are happy to say that Clara has been back in the States since the beginning of June, and is adjusting well to her new life with osseointegration. Check out our clip above to get a sneak peek of our visit!

We recently visited Clara, her boyfriend Jeff, and their cats in Northampton. We were excited to hear that she will be walking without the use of crutches next month! We were also thrilled to learn that she is healing well and has not had an infection.

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Clara and her cat, Sansa

Clara’s mobility is still not perfect – her physiotherapists have instructed her not to put too much pressure on the implants, so she still has to budget her walking time. However, we were impressed with the improvement of her mobility…attaching her legs now takes a fraction of the time it took her with sockets, and walking is clearly much easier for her.

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SUPER excited to be walking without sockets! 😀

We continue to look forward to documenting Clara’s ongoing journey. She is heading down an exciting path, filled with joy, ease, and obstacles that we are sure she will overcome. We are inspired by her strength and thankful to be by her side as she takes the next step.

This logo is brought to you by our amazing graphic designer, Kristin Sprague!

The Next Step’s next step(s):

We will be filming locally until the fall, and editing through the end of the year. Our projected release date is still January, if all goes according to plan!

As always, we are infinitely grateful for your collective patience and support. We are so excited to share the documentary once it is completed!!

If you or anyone you know would be interested in receiving updates about editing progress, future screenings, events, or news on Clara, sign up for our email newsletter!

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Augusta Rose enjoying a walk with Clara 🙂


 Be well!

-TNS Filmmaking Team

Clara: Bionic Woman

Dr. Munjed Al Muderis explaining Clara’s implants to her mother Kate. Don’t worry, the pink on her legs is just antiseptic!

Clara has entered the next phase of rehab at a larger clinic within the hospital. She is now “loading” or weight bearing on her implants without the aid of a harness, using double bars to support herself. She is experiencing intense muscular pain from the surgery, but is listening to her body and pushing ahead when she is able to.

The pain Clara is feeling is normal for Osseointegration, especially at this stage. More pain is expected, especially about 4-5 weeks after the surgery. I have been practicing Reiki (a form of energy healing) on Clara, which has helped her relax and calm the muscle spasms in her legs. She is strong and will make it through.

Doing reiki on Clara in recovery. The brand new implants look good!

Clara’s “supermom” Kate has flown back to the U.S. and her boyfriend Jeff has joined her for the remainder of her time in Australia. He will be her companion and caretaker for the coming months of intensive healing and rehab, and will continue to be there for her when they return to the States. They are a lovely couple, deeply commitment to each other. Munjed informed Clara about the importance of being around supportive friends/family/partner, as she will need to rely on them as she heals.

Clara and boyfriend Jeff 🙂

This is our last day in “Oz” and we feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness and document this incredible journey. Australia is a beautiful place and we enjoy it here, but we are also very much looking forward to coming home to the States. Clara and Jeff will return to the U.S. in early June. We look forward to spending time with them when they return and continuing production!videocamera

Beautiful Bondi Beach

Goodbye from the other side of the world…. !


Excursion to Manly Beach


Well, I’m happy to report that 27 hours, 3 planes, and 14 time zones later, we arrived in safely in Australia! We are staying in an Airbnb apartment a half hour north of Sydney, in Macquarie Park. Our apartment is a 10 minute walk from where Clara and her mother Kate are staying, with the hospital being a few minutes beyond that. It’s terribly convenient, and we are grateful for the proximity, along with our host’s hospitality (see sign below.)

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A quote from the movie “Sisters” (which I watched in transit across the Pacific Ocean) entered my mind when I read our host’s welcoming letter. The quote goes,”A house is a building. A home is a feeling.” His letter starts with the phrase “Welcome Home” and indeed, somehow, it does feel as if we are home…being here feels natural and (almost) effortless. Much of our journey has aligned in our favour, which has reinforced our purpose to document Clara’s experience here.

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Macquarie Park – Our apartment is on the far right, Clara’s across from the Centre; and the hospital up the hill on the far left.

So far, we have assimilated into Australian culture without much trouble. It is quite diverse, which we find refreshing – it’s fun to observe folks from various backgrounds all cumulated in the same area. We are located in a rather affluent area, with one of the largest and most elegant malls we have ever seen. Macquarie Centre (complete with skating rink!) features stores and cuisine as varied as its occupants, a continuous flow of well-dressed people following their own interesting agendas. We have found the food alluring, healthy, and of excellent quality (see meal below.)








My lunch at Inlakesh Living Foods, a combined natural food store and restaurant. Pumpkin and zucchini sandwich on gluten free flatbread and sweet potato chips – very different, very good 😉

The day after our arrival, we were invited by Clara’s friend Darren, a resident of Western Australia, to a tour on the Darling Harbour RiverCat ferry, with a ferry change at Circular Quay (pronounced “key”) and ending up at Manly Beach.

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Clara and I enjoying the ferry breeze

Darren was Dr. Munjed’s first Australian bilateral above knee amputee osseointegration patient, and he remains a huge advocate for it. He is seven months out of surgery, and walking steadily at this point. He graciously removed his leg to demonstrate the safety mechanisms built into it, which captured the attention of several children nearby, who attentively watched the half-machine man take his leg off and casually put it back on.

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Darren demonstrating the removal of his legs, as a small crowd gathers 🙂

I noticed there weren’t many adults staring at Darren’s legs nor Clara’s absence of them. Children, however, frequently expressed their unfiltered curiosity and fascination; to which Darren responded with a friendly invitation to talk about them. Parents clearly appreciated his openness and honesty, and became more intrigued as he explained them.

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On-the-spot interview about Osseointegration outside a café

Later, we reflected on our friends’ mobility differences and similarities. Clara noted that she actually has more freedom in a wheelchair than using socket prosthetics. Darren reassured her by stating that although it is hard work to learn how to walk with Osseo, the benefits are incomparable to all other alternatives.

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A sign I saw posted in front of a coffeeshop. I found it synchronistically appropriate, as it related to our ongoing conversation about the risk of falling on prosthetics.

My biggest take-away from the whole trip was the fact that anyone can have fun whilst in the company of friends, regardless of mobility. All five of us had equal opportunity to go on this social outing and enjoy it together, despite some being slightly limited or needing specific accomodations. Nobody complained, nobody was a burden to anyone else. We were all immersed in the excitement of sightseeing and good conversation.

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Clara and Darren on the ferry, heading back home.

Essentially, there are two options: stay down or get up. Clara and Darren have chosen countless times to forgive themselves for falling, rise again and then keep walking, no matter how difficult. I reflected on this, on the determination of our new friend Darren, and the resiliency of my long-time friend Clara. Their individual strength is incredibly inspiring, their friendship powerful. And in this way, with their combined perseverance, they will inevitably fly.

Thank you for choosing to follow Clara’s journey as she takes the next step….

Cheers from Australia!

~Augusta Rose


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Breathtaking view of Manly Beach.


The Next Step Official Trailer

Dear supporters and followers!

Welcome to the first post of our brand-new blog! We’re so happy you found us here 🙂

The filmmaking team is flying out of Logan airport Thursday morning and will arrive in Sydney two days later. We will make sure to include airport send-off and check-in photos 😉

Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to receive post updates of important happenings!

If you haven’t seen it yet, enjoy our trailer for The Next Step….

~J&A (Joe and Augusta)