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Windham Centre ‘CHAMP’ benefits from War Amps key tag service

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The War Amps Key Tag Service is celebrating 75 years of returning lost keys to their owners.

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Donations to the key tag service provide vital support to amputees across the country including nine-year-old Caydence Lee of Windham Centre.

Born as a right arm amputee, and as a member of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, Caydence is eligible for financial assistance for artificial limbs and adaptive devices, as well as peer support.

“The War Amps has been a great resource for us,” said Caydence’s mom, Candyce, in a media release. “Caydence has been fitted with artificial arms and devices so that she can swim and take part in activities like any other child. We’d like to thank all those who have donated to the Key Tag Service over the years.”

“We help cover the cost of everyday limbs, and then we cover the full cost of any recreational limbs that Caydence would like to use to participate in sports activities,” said Jamie Lunn, Public Awareness Officer with The War Amps, who is also a right-arm amputee. There are many different types of artificial limbs for activities that child amputees in the CHAMP program can use.

“That can ranges from … anything you can really think of when you’re a little girl,” said Lunn. “Caydence, as an example, may have used something to help her dig in a sandbox when she was really young. And that goes all the way up to even something to help her hold a camera if she decides that she wants to get into photography. Or to help her climb the monkey bars … really the sky is the limit when it comes to different types of recreational limbs for child amputees. And they are very individualized as well.”

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The benefits of recreational limbs are significant in the development of a child.

“It really does impact them because they are able to really develop their bodies in the way they should be,” said Lunn. “They’re able to keep up with their friends, so they’re able to have great friendships as well. And also to keep active – amputees use a lot of energy every day just to do everyday activities. So it’s important for amputees to have strong, healthy bodies and that is one of the things The War Amps tries to encourage our child amputees to do by encouraging them to have recreational limbs and participate in any sport or activity that they choose to.”

The War Amps key tag service launched in 1946 so that returning war amputee veterans could work for competitive wages, and provide a service to Canadians that would generate funds for the Association’s many programs. The service continues to employ amputees and people with disabilities and has returned more than 1.5 million sets of lost keys to their owners.

“We are very proud of it (key tag service),” said Lunn. “And it really is very vital still, and still very important. The high replacement cost of electronic keys and remote devices is significant and people notice that. People notice that it can be hundreds of dollars to replace your key ring now. So the ability to have them returned for free is very appreciated by people across the country, and that’s when they choose to donate.”

Each key tag has a confidentially coded number. If you lose your keys, the finder can call the toll-free number on the back of the tag or place them in any mailbox in Canada, and The War Amps will return them by courier, free of charge.

The War Amps receives no government grants and its programs are possible through public support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service.

“We’d like to thank the public for helping to make this service a success,” said spokesperson Rob Larman, himself a graduate of the CHAMP program. “Your support funds essential programs for all amputees across Canada, including children and veterans.”

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

cabbott@postmedia.com

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