At­lantis am­putee ea­ger to com­pete with other ath­letes

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - ROBIN ADAMS

ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Aubrey Meyer is just like any other boy his age.

The young­ster from At­lantis has fun with his friends, plays soc­cer in the streets af­ter school and climbs trees.

Aubrey is a very ac­tive child.

What does set him apart from his peers is his pros­thetic limb.

Aubrey’s left leg was am­pu­tated be­low the knee af­ter he was born.

His mother was di­ag­nosed with can­cer while preg­nant with him. She re­ceived med­i­ca­tion which re­sulted in Aubrey’s leg not de­vel­op­ing com­pletely.

Doc­tors de­cided to am­pu­tate be­low the knee at birth. Shock­ingly, it was later dis­cov­ered that Aubrey’s mother never had can­cer.

His dis­abil­ity, how­ever, hasn’t set him back from en­joy­ing his child­hood.

“Some­times he is faster than the other kids,” his step­mother Dorothy-Anne Adams said. “And I joked with him the other day that he is al­most like some­one who has two legs.”

Aubrey dreams of com­pet- ing in athletics, but his cur­rent pros­the­sis isn’t de­signed for the phys­i­cal re­quire­ments of the sport.

His coach Tash­well Adams said that the wear and tear on an ar­ti­fi­cial limb is ham­per­ing his progress.

“It’s (pros­the­sis) good for walk­ing, not run­ning,” said Adams, who adds that Aubrey could be­come a top com­peti­tor.

Adams met Aubrey in Jan­uary at the athletics track at Wes­fleur Park. “I saw Aubrey run­ning around. He did ev­ery­thing the other ath­letes were do­ing,” he said.

“It was fas­ci­nat­ing to see the ea­ger­ness of this young man and his de­ter­mi­na­tion to show his in­de­pen­dence.”

Ea­ger to help Aubrey, Adams did some re­search and dis­cov­ered the Jump­ing Kids Pros­thetic Fund.

He met with the fund’s doc­tors in Potchef­stroom and they agreed to spon­sor the young­ster with a pros­thetic “run­ning blade”, which they would man­u­fac­ture in Pretoria.

Michael Stevens from Jump­ing Kids said the or­gan­i­sa­tion would cover the cost of the pros­the­sis.

Aubrey and Adams are set to travel to Pretoria in the up­com­ing school hol­i­days.

Adams has raised some money for their trip, but it is not enough to cover their flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion and meals.

Zeta Davids, one of Aubrey’s teach­ers at Parkview Pri­mary, said: “He is very calm. He does as he’s told. On the school grounds he is very ac­tive, dur­ing school breaks.

“He does what any nor­mal child does. He walks, kicks the ball, plays with his friends.”

Prin­ci­pal Waldy Kas­toor de­scribed Aubrey as “very vi­brant”. “He doesn’t let any­thing get him down. You won’t say there is a dis­abil­ity,” Kas­toor said.

“He reg­u­larly at­tends school. He is very ac­tive. Even more ac­tive than those who are able to do the sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. He par­tic­i­pates in ev­ery kind of sport.”

PIC­TURE: SUPPLIED

Aubrey Meyer, 11, and his athletics coach Tash­well Adams set to travel to Pretoria to re­ceive his spon­sored ‘run­ning blade’.

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