A special seminar was held in Calgary on Saturday to let child amputees know, It's What's Left That Counts.
That was the theme of the annual Child Amputee (CHAMP) Camp hosted by War Amps at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Calgary, aimed at helping families network and learn about the latest advancements in technology.
Seven-year-old Ace Assine was there and said he sometimes gets inundated with questions about his prosthetic hand, which helps him traverse playground equipment like his classmates.
"I just say, 'I was born like that," he said. "They ask if I can do anything like monkey bars and I say, 'yes.' I have a new way of doing it."
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More than 100 CHAMP children attended the seminar, many sporting specialty prostheses donated by the War Amps.
"A lot of the kids are involved in sporting activities," said Shannon Krasowski, the War Amps regional liaison for Alberta. "Sledge hockey was something that was really big, snowboarding, skiing, so they can talk about the different devices that they have and share what is special about those devices with one another."
And that sharing of knowledge extends to all aspects of their lives.
"It's not just important for physical activity, it's also important for social interaction so that kids can participate in team environments with groups of their friends and peers," said Krasowski. "For example, even having a water leg so that they might be able to attend a pool party."
Kyle Riva is a triple amputee who attended the very first CHAMP seminar in 1981.
He believes the program set him up for life and came to share that thought process with other attendees.
"How I've adapted outside of the CHAMP program, of course, and applying what I've learned from them to everyday living," he said. "To travel, to sport, to work, anything that, of course, as we all have to encounter at least one point in our lives." he said.
The event continues Sunday, when CHAMP ambassadors will be recognized for work done in the community.