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Young amputee to share special moment with fellow ‘Champ’ this holiday season


PHOTO COURTESY THE WAR AMPS CHILD AMPUTEE (CHAMP) PROGRAM

Pincourt resident Gabriel Finn (left) and friend Jericho Rodriguez of Markham, Ontario at a CHAMP Seminar in 2019.


Twelve-year-old Pincourt resident Gabriel Finn was excited to be recently fitted with a new waterproof artificial leg which allows him to swim and walk safely on wet surfaces.

Gabriel, born a right foot amputee, is a member of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program. As a ‘Champ,’ he is eligible to receive financial assistance for artificial limbs and assistive devices. He also attends regional CHAMP seminars where Champs and their parents learn about the latest in artificial limbs, dealing with teasing and staring, and parenting an amputee child.

Gabriel attended his first seminar when he was a year old. It was here that his parents connected with the family of another amputee the same age as Gabriel – Jericho Rodriguez, 12, of Markham, Ontario, who is a double leg amputee.

“Gabriel and Jericho have such a special bond,” says Gabriel’s dad, Christopher. “They are always keeping in touch whether it’s on the phone or playing video games online.”


PHOTO COURTESY THE WAR AMPS CHILD AMPUTEE (CHAMP) PROGRAM

Gabriel displays his new water leg which will enable him to swim and safely navigate wet surfaces.


Over the holidays, Gabriel and Jericho’s families will have a virtual get-together so that Gabriel can show off his new water leg and Jericho can show his new running legs.

“Gabriel and Jericho can relate to each other in ways that they can’t with their other friends,” says Christopher. “They encourage and support each other, and we are so grateful to have the Rodriguez family in our life.”

The War Amps has been making a difference in the lives of amputees for more than a century and there is still much to do to ensure amputees, like Gabriel and Jericho, have the artificial limbs and devices they need.

“The War Amps receives no government grants, but with the public’s continued support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service, our vital programs for amputees will carry on long into the future,” says Danita Chisholm, Executive Director of the CHAMP Program.



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