In June of 1970, the late State Representative (IL) William G. Barr of Illinois, suffered limb loss during a failed assassination attempt. He survived that day but he lost his left leg above the knee and the ability to walk without prosthesis.
Two years later his son Tony Barr, was put in the same situation after losing his foot in an accident in Delray Beach, Florida.
They spent the next seven years traveling across the country in an attempt to find a prosthesis that would allow them to live normal lives again. Unfortunately, their search unveiled that the profession was unregulated and many providers were not qualified to provide these specialized health care services. They continued what seemed like an endless search for pain-free mobility and successful prosthetic rehabilitation.
After surviving this long struggle, they decided to help amputees across the US by fighting for much-needed regulation reform of the prosthetics industry. In 1978, the father and son founded and built the Institute for the Advancement of Prosthetics in Lansing, Michigan, as a non-profit rehabilitation hospital to provide proper prosthetic fitting and rehabilitation to amputees lacking the financial resources to obtain these services.
Subsequent to the elder Barr’s passing, in 1993 the IAP was sold. From that point forward, Tony Barr and the board of directors, continued this mission of hope by evolving the IAP into the Barr Foundation.
In 2007, Tony Barr, then President of the Barr Foundation, passed away suddenly of a heart attack. The Foundation has continued its mission with the support, work, and dedication of its board of directors, including Tony’s sister, Kathy Barr Kruger, and sponsoring prosthetists.
The Barr Foundation is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization determined to help improve the quality of life for amputees in the United States and across the globe. Every year thousands of amputees are refused prosthetic limbs due to lack of funds or lack of proper medical insurance. The Barr Foundation helps to provide these people with the funding, treatment, and prosthetic devices needed to return them to their normal lifestyles.
Over the years, the Barr Foundation has helped over 1400 amputees in 30 states and 21 foreign countries become “Whole Again”.