A physical disability does not determine who you are and what you can accomplish. A physical disability is only on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside that really matters.
Being born with Amniotic Band Syndrome has pushed me to succeed and show the world exactly what I can do. I learned to walk with a prosthesis at the age of fifteen months and I have been walking, running and playing sports ever since. I have participated in sports such as swimming, volleyball, track and field, baseball and figure skating. I have excelled in all three of these activities. I’ve played volleyball with our school team, I’ve taken swimming lessons for over five years completing eight levels and I played softball in high school girls league. Out of all these sports, figure skating has been my favourite. My father used an example provided by the War Amps to create a walker out of welded steel and hockey sticks, so that it could slide across the ice while providing me with support as I learned to skate.
I’ve lived in a rural area almost all of my life and it has given me great benefits. Everyone in my town and school knows who I am and the reason behind my disability. Everyone understands and they have learned to look past it to see the real side of me. When I was seven years old my family moved to Olds, Alberta in pursuit of my fathers job. This was a shocking experience. No one knew who I was and they didn’t understand me. It was hard to make new friends and I was constantly starred at. After a few months we moved back home to the people who understood me.
I am a member of The War Amps Champ Program. I regularly attend their seminars to learn about new technology for amputees. They have helped me understand who I am and that I should be proud of what I have accomplished. I have found ways to deal with the stares in public. I simply smile and if a young child has questions about my appearance I feel honoured to answer them and give them a better understanding. I now have respect for other amputees because I know what they have had to deal with.
When I was 10 years old, my father died of cancer. It made me realize how precious life is. Everyone, no matter shape, size, or appearance should be given the chance to fulfill they’re dreams before it’s too late. Treasure these moments.
I am now 18 years old. I will graduate High School in June 2003, and I plan on attending University in the Fall to study Commerce.