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Norfolk teen who lost leg as toddler is War Amps role model

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For some people, April is just another month. For others, such as Vanessa native Jarod Murray, it is a time to educate people as part of Limb Loss Awareness Month.

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The 18-year-old Norfolk County resident became a right leg amputee following a lawnmower accident when he was two years old.

Murray grew up attending Teeterville Public School and said he was always open to answering people’s questions. Now he teaches younger children how to do the same.

War Amps holds CHAMP (Child Amputee Program) seminars across Canada where child amputees and their parents get together to discuss topics such as parenting a child amputee and the latest developments in artificial limbs. It is at these seminars where Murray gets to interact with younger amputees that are going through similar situations he has already been through.

“I mainly talk about it being OK to ask questions,” said Murray. “There’s a natural curiosity for people that don’t have missing limbs.”

He says he also discusses bullying with younger amputees and said he avoided bullying by being so willing to answer everyone’s questions. He added he had supportive friends that were accepting of his abilities.

“Today, I’m a role model to the younger amputees and I encourage them to do whatever they set their minds to.”

Murray explained that meeting people through War Amps creates a supportive community.

“People get together and discuss how they’re dealing with their amputation or their child’s amputation,” said Murray. “We help them out with coping by telling them how to do things through experience. Other older and more experienced amputees give advice to younger people and parents.”

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Murray is now a Grade 12 student at Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Simcoe with plans of heading to trade school to become an electrician.

The entire Murray family expressed their gratefulness towards War Amps.

“They helped with the ability to even be able to afford a prosthetic,” said Murray.

His parents, Richard and Sheri Murray, want other parents to be aware of proper lawnmower safety.

“Don’t mow with your child on your mower,” said Richard. “It only takes a second.”

“Play safe,” added Sheri.

War Amps is a publicly-funded organization that helps amputees with the cost of artificial limbs and recreational devices for fitness, sports, music and more.

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