As soon as you came to Canada you were enrolled in the War Amps CHAMP program. Most Canadians are aware of the War Amps, but readers in other parts of the world might not be familiar with them. Who are the War Amps, and what is the CHAMP program?
The War Amps is a non-profit organization that started after WW1 for the Vets who lost their limbs. The CHAMP program helps kids and teens with amputations get through everyday life by providing limbs.
Can you describe what it is like to go to one of the multiple amputee seminars put on by the War Amps?
The seminars that are hosted by the War Amps are a fun-filled 3 days. You meet and get to know other kids with amputations, share stories and experiences, and start up friendships that last for a lifetime.
I could write a series of blog posts just about these seminars. In a word they are amazing. The War Amps hold these get-togethers every year and a half for the multiple amputee kids (Super Champs) enrolled in their program. The kids get a chance to be around other amputees, sharing stories and experiences. It is a whole weekend where amputees are in the majority. If you show up at the pool WITH limbs you are going to be the odd one out!
|David and Morgan using their swim arms|
One of the favourite times at the seminars, aside from the time spent in the hotle pool, is when the Champs get to go up on stage and demonstrate their different limbs and devices. Here is David with two of his Champ friends, Blaike and Morgan.
|Blaike, David and Morgan demonstrating their sports devices|
That friendship has continued through the years. This picture was taken a few years ago at a Multiple Amputee Seminar in Ottawa.
|David, Blaike and Morgan - all grown up!|
Since this blog interview was prompted by my encounter with the box of limbs in the storage room, let’s discuss prosthetics. Can you list the limbs you currently use?
The limbs I am using currently are my hockey arm, tennis arm, swim leg and sport leg. With ski season coming up I’ll also be using my ski pole arms very soon.
|#1 sports limb|
|Our family skiing at Sun Peaks last winter - David is third from the left|
There have been many other limbs, particularly sports limbs, that you have had over the years. Can you take a trip down memory lane and list some of your retired limbs for my readers?
Oh, the limbs I’ve retired is an almost endless list. I no longer use my hooks or myoelectric arms, baseball bat or glove adaption, basketball arm, bike arms and swim arms.
Prosthetic limbs are very expensive, and this has been another area where the War Amps have been terrific over the years. They pick up the cost of any limb not covered by our provincial medical plan.
Can you tell me how much your current leg cost, and also your hockey arm?
My current leg cost around $7000. The spring in the foot alone is priced at $6000. This year I recently upgraded the spring in my foot because the old spring ($4000) kept on breaking - I went through 3 springs in one year. My hockey arm only costs $900 or so because it has no special pieces to it, just the materials to make it and the labour costs.
Do you have some final thoughts to share?