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Prince George ‘Champ’ meets role model at War Amps seminar

Clare McNamara (right), of Prince George, and Sara La Belle, 21, of Vancouver at the 2019 BC CHAMP Seminar.
Clare McNamara (right), of Prince George, and Sara La Belle, 21, of Vancouver at the 2019 BC CHAMP Seminar.

For more than 100 years, The War Amps has been making a difference in the lives of amputees including two-year-old Clare McNamara, of Prince George, and Sara La Belle, 21, of Vancouver.

Clare, born a right arm amputee, and Sara, a right leg amputee, are members of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program. The pair met at the recent 2019 BC Seminar in Richmond where Sara was also a Junior Counsellor Coordinator, overseeing the team of older Champs who act as role models and offer advice to younger Champs.

“The seminars are very informative, but one of the best parts is that Clare gets to meet other amputees,” says Clare’s mom, Karissa. “It’s comforting to know that as she gets older, there are people, like Sara, who will be there to guide her and offer support.”

At CHAMP seminars, young amputees and their parents learn about the latest in artificial limbs, dealing with teasing and staring and parenting an amputee child. The seminar is also an opportunity for child amputees and their families to connect and share similar experiences about living with amputation.

“Seminars are a powerful experience, as Champs and parents learn they are not alone,” says Danita Chisholm, Executive Director of the CHAMP Program. “Thanks to the public’s support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service, we are able to bring young amputees like Clare and Sara together as well as provide financial assistance for the cost of artificial limbs.”

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