One young Cochrane kid has recently discovered that there really is strength in numbers.
Five-year-old Jerlena Rittwage, who was born missing her left hand, returned from the 2012 Western War Amps CHAMPS seminar, which was held in Saskatoon, Sask., July 13-15, feeling connected to a network of kids, counsellors and families facing similar obstacles in their lives.
“She’s been involved with the War Amps for about three years,” said her mother, Jessica Rittwage.
“She gets to see kids just like her, which really helps with her self-esteem.”
Jessica said the three-day seminar was beneficial to both herself and her daughter on many levels, including learning about the various aspects of growing up as an amputee, evolving technology with prosthetic limbs, parenting an amputee child, dealing with teasing and bullying and maintaining an active lifestyle.
Jessica said one of the greatest forms of assistance they received from the organization was receiving a prosthetic hand, so Jerlena could keep active swimming.
“They gave her the opportunity to get a prosthetic made so she could participate in sports and activities like all the other kids,” said Jessica; the cost of Jerlena’s artificial limb was $2,700 and insurance only partially covers this.
“Seminars are an integral part of the Child Amputee Program, creating lasting bonds of friendship as CHAMPS grow up learning from one another,” said Danita Chisholm, executive director of CHAMPS.
Visit waramps.ca to learn more.