STRENGTH –Red Deerian Landon Haigh knows how vital the services of The War Amps are. He underwent an amputation on his right leg a few years ago after a cancer diagnosis.

Grateful for the solid support from The War Amps

Red Deer man knows firsthand the importance of Canada-wide program

Adjusting to life after an amputation brings a range of challenges, as Red Deer resident Landon Haigh knows firsthand.

And from the start, he and his family have benefited greatly from the assistance of The War Amps Child Amputee Program (CHAMP). It’s one of the programs funded through the public’s support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service.

Through CHAMP, The War Amps is there to help child amputees and their families from the very start, with financial assistance for artificial limbs, peer support, regional seminars and programs like Matching Mothers.

Key tags are currently being mailed out to Albertans. Since 1946, The War Amps has returned more than one million sets of keys through the program. Each key tag has a confidentially coded number. Should the keys be lost, the finder need only call the toll-free number on the back of the tag or deposit them in any mailbox, and the keys will be returned to the owner by bonded courier.

It’s a vital fundraiser for The War Amps, as the organization receives no government grants.

“They provide equipment, and one of the biggest things they provide is recreational limbs. Any sort of specialized equipment that the government won’t cover, they will pay for,” explains Haigh.

Today, the 19-year-old has his sights set on a career in mathematics and computer science, continuing his education at the University of Calgary this fall. But just a few years ago, life for this teen and his family took a very unexpected turn when Haigh started noticing pain in his right knee.

Doctors diagnosed cancer in the fall of 2008 when he was 16. Surgery was performed in February of 2009 which was followed by months of chemotherapy.

Ultimately, doctors said an amputation was a necessity because the cancer had spread. That was something the family wasn’t expecting, as it was hoped that reconstructive surgery would be enough.

“It was shocking,” explained his mother Ildi. “It was also tough because it was in just a short time it happened. It was like ‘This is the next path we have to take’.”

‘Van Ness Rotationplasty’ surgery was the course Landon, his doctors and the family decided to take. Surgeons took his ankle joint and put it where his knee joint was, and prosthesis has replaced his lower leg. The breakthrough surgery has left him with greater potential for what he can do with prosthesis. Of course it took getting used to, but Landon’s calm and peaceful nature helped him – and his family – adjust to the new reality.

“The process of learning to walk with it was more about balance than about muscle training,” he explained.

And as mentioned, through it all, Landon showed a striking strength and resiliency. “He is so stoic, and upbeat all the time,” explained Ildi. “He’s always been that way. His attitude was ‘I have to go through this, so let’s just do it’.

“When I look back at it, I wonder how did we do this? But when you are in the situation it’s basically day by day – 10 minutes by 10 minutes,” she said.

Founded by a national charter in 1920 as The Amputations Association of The Great War, a fraternal society was envisioned that would be able to provide direction for its members while also seeing to their needs. Counseling, self-help and practical assistance were emphasized.

Landon and his parents, Dale and Ildi, are grateful to The War Amps for their support which as already pointed out is available in a number of ways.

“It’s comforting to know that no matter what situation comes up, they are there,” said Dale.

As Landon explained, when you find yourself with a question about how to handle a given situation, you can be confident that someone out there has faced a similar situation and can lend advice, insight and support. “It’s a very easy support to go to and find out what you need to know.”

For more information, or to order key tags, call toll-free 1-800-250-3030 or visit waramps.ca.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Red Deer will officially be the home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo

CFR has potential to bring in an economic impact of $20-30 million

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

Tyler Steenbergen etches his name into Canadian hockey history

Sylvan Lake native scores huge tournament-winner at World Juniors

City council supports $25,000 for Downtown Community Development Committee

Funding supports stakeholders in developing programs enhancing downtown safety

Red Deer’s Gord Bontje gives $500,000 to A Better World

Co-owner of Laebon Homes gives the gift to celebrate 60th birthday

WATCH: Red Deer Entertainment Awards honours Red Deer’s burgeoning talent

The awards looks to become more inclusive of the entire entertainment scene in year three

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Most Read