Saskatoon

Young amputees deliver show and tell session

Madisson Howanyk was born with a partial left hand but, thanks to The War Amps of Canada, that hasn’t stopped him from playing pickup games of hockey with his friends.

The War Amps of Canada brings together amputees from the Prairie provinces

Madisson Howanyk, 16, shows how he plays hockey with a partial left hand at The War Amps 2016 Western Child Amputee Seminar in Saskatoon. (James Hopkin/CBC)

Madisson Howanyk was born with a partial left hand but, thanks to The War Amps of Canada, that hasn't stopped him from playing pickup games of hockey with his friends.

Howanyk, 16, uses a prosthetic device that becomes his hockey hand.

"It's essentially just a socket that I slip my hand into and it's screwed into the shaft of my stick," Howanyk said. "Then I cut a hole into the finger of my glove to slide over top and tape it on."

Madisson Howanyk says other hockey players usually have no idea that he plays with a partial left hand. (James Hopkin/CBC)

Howanyk, who is from Winnipeg, was in Saskatoon Saturday to talk to participants of the The War Amps 2016 Western Child Amputee Seminar. More than 90 amputees from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are at the weekend long event.

"I've actually gone to the rink and no one will know [about the prosthesis] until three hours later when I'm getting changed," Howanyk said.

His presentation was part of a show and tell session Saturday. A number of youngsters also spoke about the ways they have been able to play different sports using prosthetic devices or equipment adaptations.

CHAMP friendships

Leanne Holtvogt, The War Amps of Canada regional representative for Saskatchewan, said people at the events build friendships that last a lifetime. She went to her first CHAMP seminar when she was two years old. Holtvogt was born without arms from just below the elbows. Also, a portion of one foot was not fully developed.

Holtvogt, who is from Saskatoon says The War Amps of Canada has provided financial support so she can use swimming arms. The War Amps has also helped with an adaptation she uses to play hockey.

"We're just gathering, having different sessions throughout the weekend on different topics," Holtvogt said about the seminar. "Whether it be [a] younger child learning how to play with their new arms and legs, or play safe seminar sessions."

The seminar included sessions on the War Amps' PLAYSAFE program and healthy living for arm and leg amputees.

Madisson Howanyk has been playing recreational hockey since he was six years old, thanks to The War Amps' Child Amputee Program. (James Hopkin/CBC)

Howanyk said The War Amps has done more than provide assistance with enjoying recreational hockey. He has also gained a positive outlook on life.

"Honestly, I haven't really faced much. I've overcome a lot of things and I don't really see it as challenge," Howanyk said. "I see it as opportunities to learn and grow as a person and, really, just face every day with a good attitude."

The seminar wraps up Sunday morning with an open forum on day-to-day difficulties facing amputees.

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