Collingwood's "Super Champ" heads to Toronto seminar 0
Collingwood’s Sarah Cormier is a Super Champ for War Amps. Emily Innes // Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin
Local War Amps “Super Champ” will be sharing her experiences and inspiring younger multiple amputees this weekend.
Collingwood resident Sarah Cormier is attending The War Amps 2012 Multiple Amputation Seminar in Toronto from Sept. 28 until 30 as a junior counsellor.
The 21-year-old was enrolled in War Amps when she was two months old, she is missing part of one leg and some fingers.
The national seminar is tailored to specific interests and needs of multiple amputees with topics such as living independently, education on prosthetic devices, and the importance of computers as equalizers in education and the workforce.
“It's also a great opportunity for all the amputees to get together. I am friends with everyone there that is my age and it's really the only time that we get to see each other every two years,” said Cormier. “They are really the only other people who unDerstand what difficulties you go through with everyday life.”
Cormier has worked at camps for children with disabilities and participated as a junior counsellor at the Ontario War Amps Single Amputee Seminar and said she enjoys helping children and their parents understand how to overcome unique challenges of growing up as an amputee.
She said the message she passes on to younger War Amps is: “Your disability doesn't define you. I have always lived by that. I don't believe that if you have any sort of amputations that it should limit your abilities. You can do everything that anyone else can. You might have to do it differently but you can do everything that an able body can.”
The theme of this year's seminar is “If I can, you can.”
War Amps director of the Play Safe / Drive Safe program Rob Larman said the junior counsellors are able to promote and exemplify that message.
“The junior counsellors are an integral part of what we do at our seminars,” said Larman. “They are there to motivate the younger children, be leaders and role models. The junior counsellors are older champs that have lived their life with multiple amputations and have continued to excel with their education, their careers, marriage and children.”
Larman knows first-hand the impact they have as he has been involved in the program for almost 35 years, after he was hit by a train at the age of 14. He was a participant, a junior counsellor and started working full time for War Amps at 19.
“There is a very close bond that exists between our multiple amputees because they have far greater struggles in life, and by exchanging information on how to become independent and mobile and how to learn different exercising techniques that allow them to live a healthy life style – it's important,” he said.