One Hundred Years and Still Much to Do!
A hundred years ago, amputee veterans returning from the First World War started The War Amps to share concerns and assist each other in adapting to their new reality as amputees. They never dreamed that this unique Association would become a household name and that it would still be profoundly changing the lives of amputees, like Louis Bourassa, a century later.
Bourassa lost his right leg at the age of four in a lawn mower accident. He was enrolled in The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, which provides financial assistance for the cost of artificial limbs, peer support and regional seminars to young amputees. “My parents took me to my first War Amps CHAMP Seminar. Seeing so many other young amputees succeeding reassured us that things would be OK,” says Bourassa.
When he left home to start working with the Association, the war amputees he had come to know while growing up continued to share their lifetime of experience and helped him adapt to living independently. “It moves me greatly to think of how these remarkable First and Second World War ‘amps’ enabled me to overcome my amputation, and I have been proud to, in turn, help the younger amputees who have come after me. With each new generation, this legacy is passed down again,” says Bourassa, who is today the Director of the CHAMP Program in Quebec.
The War Amps is entering its second century with the theme “Still Much to Do!” “Our work has expanded to include a diversity of issues, from financial assistance for artificial limbs, to providing a voice for amputees’ rights, to our role as the centre of excellence in living with amputation and more. Although the Association has developed many innovative and unique programs over the past 100 years, there is still much to do to ensure amputees have the artificial limbs they need to lead full and active lives,” says Bourassa.
The work of The War Amps would not be possible without the public’s support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service. “With this support, our commitment remains to continue to improve the lives of amputees long into the future,” he adds.
Donors may also choose to leave a gift or charitable bequest in their wills.
For more information, or to order key tags, call toll-free 1 800 250-3030 or visit waramps.ca.