Thursday, 30 August 2018 09:29

A true CHAMP-MP meeting

Written by  Heather Cameron
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On August 17, southwest AB CHAMP Shelby Smith presented MP Rachel Harder with a commemorative envelope celebrating the 100th anniversary of the War Amps that the Association’s long history and innovative programs.


The War Amps was started in 1918 by World War I veterans who became amputees as the result of the war. They started the organization to help each other adapt to life with amputations. The association has since grown to assist all war amputees, including children.
“It was a great experience; Rachel is such an amazing woman,” Smith said. “I presented it to her it was like we already met. We discussed the program and how it has helped me get everything I need to meet my personal life goals and how it has done so much for other young and old amputees.”
Smith, age 17, was born a right hand amputee, and was enrolled in The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, shortly after her birth.
CHAMP, Smith said, has provided financial assistance towards the cost of everyday artificial limbs and recreational devices for fitness like a tumbler device; devices for sports such as swimming and basketball; devices for playing guitar music; and more. Smith says that artificial limbs are a heavy financial burden to a lot of families, especially due to the fact that such limbs are regularly outgrown.
“The Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program encouraged me and my family to accept my amputation and develop a positive approach to challenges,” Smith said.
Over the years, Smith has attended also attended annual CHAMP seminars, which bring together child amputees and their parents. The seminars focus on the latest developments in artificial limbs; issues such as teasing and bullying; and other topics such as parenting a child amputee.
“Seminars have a life-changing effect on Champs and their parents as they meet others just like them and develop a positive attitude,” Smith said. “War Amps is such a great program that has helped so many of us amputees with everything from day to day activities all the way to helping kids get the support and community to help them be confident and comfortable when people ask or stare. I am so excited to be a part of this program and how much it has to offer!”

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