Lo­cal "Champ" cel­e­brates War Amps 100th An­niver­sary at West­ern Sem­i­nar

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Southern Alberta -

Shelby Smith, 17, of Lethbridge, has re­turned from The War Amps 2018 West­ern Child Am­putee (CHAMP) Sem­i­nar in Win­nipeg. The sem­i­nar brought to­gether young am­putees from across the west­ern prov­inces while also mark­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of The War Amps.

She was born a right hand am­putee and, as a “Champ”, is el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for the cost of ar­ti­fi­cial limbs and recre­ational de­vices. By at­tend­ing sem­i­nars, Champs and par­ents learn about the lat­est in ar­ti­fi­cial limbs, deal­ing with teas­ing and bul­ly­ing and par­ent­ing an am­putee child. Smith was a Ju­nior Coun­sel­lor at the Sem­i­nar, act­ing as a role model and of­fer­ing ad­vice to younger Champs.

The War Amps was started by am­putee veter­ans re­turn­ing from the First World War to help each other adapt to their new re­al­ity and ad­vo­cate for se­ri­ously dis­abled veter­ans. With a phi­los­o­phy of “am­putees help­ing am­putees,” they wel­comed the next gen­er­a­tion of war am­putees fol­low­ing the Sec­ond World War and es­tab­lished the Key Tag Ser­vice to gain mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment and pro­vide a ser­vice to the public. Later, rec­og­niz­ing that their ex­pe­ri­ence could help oth­ers, they de­vel­oped pro­grams to serve all am­putees, in­clud­ing chil­dren.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the CHAMP Pro­gram, Danita Chisholm says, “Although the As­so­ci­a­tion has de­vel­oped many in­no­va­tive and unique pro­grams over the past 100 years, there is still much to do to en­sure am­putees have the ar­ti­fi­cial limbs they need to lead full and ac­tive lives. With the public’s sup­port of the Key Tag and Ad­dress La­bel Ser­vice, our vi­tal pro­grams for am­putees will carry on long into the fu­ture.”

SHELBY SMITH

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