Young Boy Now Enjoys Sports With Prosthetic Arm from The War Amps
About a century ago, a non-profit organization called The War Amps was created to assist veterans who lost their limbs during the First World War. This organization still helps children like Alaric Lavallee from Edmonton, Canada.
Eight-year-old Alaric was born with a limb difference; he only has one arm that stops at the elbow. But that has never stopped him from enjoying swimming, playing baseball, and having fun on the monkey bars. Now, he can fully enjoy his favorite sports thanks to The War Amps’ Child Amputee (CHAMP) program, which gave him an interchangeable prosthetic arm that adapts as he grows.
Alaric has a baseball attachment that helps him swing better and hit with more power. He also has a curved prosthetic that looks like an ice cream scoop, which he uses for swimming. He uses a black hook to grip the next bar to swing across when he plays on the monkey bars.
He even has a prosthetic for driving and typing on a computer keyboard. Alaric is already a skilled gamer, thanks to Minecraft and Super Smash Brothers. Besides sports and gaming, Alaric is also interested in math and dreams of becoming an inventor someday.
As a beneficiary of the CHAMP program, Alaric and his parents regularly attend CHAMP seminars and events across Canada. He has even made many friends through these events. CHAMP events bring child amputees and their families together to provide them with valuable information on the latest developments in artificial limbs, as well as how to deal with the teasing and bullying that many children with limb loss and limb difference experience.
In an interview with the Edmonton Journal, Alaric’s parents said they focus on teaching him confidence and ensuring he does not hide his limb difference. They want him to have tougher skin and be proud of who he is.
The CHAMP program also offers a peer support program that connects new parents to experienced parents, a specialized assistance program called Jumpstart for children with multiple amputations, and a unique “kids-to-kids” approach program called Playsafe, which makes children more aware of the dangers in their play environment. These programs for children amputees are made possible through public support of The War Amps.
Only male soldiers were members of The War Amps during the Great War (1914-1918). However, Nurse Madeleine Jaffray broke this pattern by serving in a Red Cross ambulance unit in Belgium. Jaffray was wounded by a bomb that exploded as she was leaving a covered passage in one of the wards. Jaffray had to be amputated, and her amputation at that time made her the only female war amputee in Canada before The War Amps began serving civilians.
For more information about The War Amps, please visit https://www.waramps.ca/home/.