Olympic Fever: Part II

January 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm 1 comment

 
Zack Beaumont tests his prosthetic leg

Following Olympic hopeful Crispin Liscombe’s key-note address at last Thursday’s Miracle Weekend kick-off, another star athlete was invited to speak to the crowd of Miracle Weekend volunteer fundraising committees. 

When 14-year-old Zack Beaumont was born without a tibia and knee joint his parents had a hard decision to make. “When we were told about Zack’s condition we were in shock,” Zack’s dad, Neil Beaumont recalls. “We had the choice of watching our son go through years of walking on crutches and numerous operations with no guarantee that he would ever walk unassisted, or to amputate his leg while he was still a baby.”

Choosing amputation isn’t easy, but it does allow children who’ve never had the use of a limb to adjust automatically. “Zack doesn’t see himself as different. He just accepts his prosthetic as normal and swims, snowboards and does all the activities any other boy his age would,” says Neil. Zack had even told his father, “because of my prosthetic, look what sports I can do.”

To the crowd’s delight, Zack showed us how much fun he has, as he lets up in on a trick he plays on teachers –  turning his leg around he tries to do up his shoe while his foot is on backwards.   

Although kids like Zack adapt and thrive in life with prosthetics, they require specialized care and monitoring due to their growing bodies and higher activity levels. While most adults only need to be fitted once with their prosthetic and can use it for years, children need to visit the Hospital at least once a year.   

15-year-old Zack Beaumont is training for the 2014 Paralympics.

To better meet children’s needs the Limb Deficiency clinic at BC Children’s Hospital recently started creating prosthetics for specific activities, such as walking, swimming, and even biking – which is all great news for Zack, who sees his award as just a starting point. “He pushes his prosthetic to keep up with him,” says Neil. “He has big dreams of becoming a professional snowboarder and representing Canada on the Paralympics team.”   

Today, Zack is in fact a paralympic hopeful for the 2014. We will be watching for him to cheer him on in all his olympic dreams. named best athlete in his elementary school for his achievements in sports and track and field, his dad Neil burst with pride – probably more so than most parents as Zack, now 15, has the added challenge of using a prosthetic leg.   

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Entry filed under: Terra.

Olympic Fever You Win You Choose

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