Lee Raymond Blanchette had ambitions to be the first above-the-knee amputee to kayak the Mississippi River from its headwaters in Minnesota to its destination in New Orleans. Other things on his Bucket List were to swim with the dolphin, Winter, who has a prosthetic tail, and to work in the Antarctic in honor of Shackleton, Perry and North. Lee was a talented carpenter and artist, and loved to be outdoors in the winter, shoveling snow for friends and neighbors. He was a volunteer Emergency Medical Service responder (EMS), and took the job very seriously, going out every night to help people, especially those who had over-dosed on drugs. He struggled with residual limb pain and stump deterioration because he would work so hard several days running, and then have to rest up another three. He self-medicated with alcohol to dull the pain, but eventually put himself into a sober house and started a regimen of pain medications. Lee made friends wherever he went. Even store clerks and his doctors became fast friends with him. Lee's primary doctor would always set aside about an hour, just to shoot the bull with Lee after treatment. A saying Lee had was: I may not be able to change the world, but I sure am gonna leave one heck of a dent in it!
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