A Langley ‘Champ’ gained some valuable insight in B.C.’s capital recently.
Tanner Jung, 18, attended the The War Amps 2018 BC Child Amputee (CHAMP) seminar in Victoria. The seminar brought together child amputees from across the province while also marking the 100th anniversary of The War Amps.
Jung is a right leg amputee and as a ‘Champ’ is eligible to receive financial assistance for the cost of artificial limbs and recreational devices. By attending seminars, ‘Champs’ and parents learn about the latest in artificial limbs, dealing with teasing and bullying, and parenting an amputee child.
Jung was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), basically a short femur and no hip socket on one side.
He underwent major surgery, called Van Nes Rotation Plasty, when he was four.
“We placed a rod in his leg and turned it 180 degrees — yes, that puts the foot backwards and his ankle is now his new knee… through much therapy and many adjustments, he now wears a prosthetic,” his mom Nadene explained.
“A year later we did the work on his hip socket.
“He has had multiple surgeries as he has grown but has (so) mastered wearing a prosthetic since the younger days, that I tend to forget he has only one leg.”
Jung was recently diagnosed with scoliosis, “which is just another little hurdle he will master,” Nadene said.
When Jung found wheelchair basketball at age 13, he found his niche, playing for both the B.C. and national teams.
“After I started wheelchair basketball, I’ve never regretted playing,” Jung said.
“I’ve always loved it.”
About the War Amps
The War Amps was started by amputee veterans returning from the First World War to help each other adapt to their new reality and advocate for seriously disabled veterans. With a philosophy of “amputees helping amputees,” they welcomed the next generation of war amputees following the Second World War and established the Key Tag Service to gain meaningful employment and provide a service to the public. Later, recognizing that their experience could help others, they developed programs to serve all amputees, including children.
CHAMP program executive director Danita Chisholm says, “Although the Association has developed many innovative and unique programs over the past 100 years, there is still much to do to ensure amputees, like Tanner, have the artificial limbs they need to lead full and active lives. With the public’s support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service, our vital programs for amputees will carry on long into the future.”