Haddessah Block, 13, walks with her fellow CHAMP program members during the 2019 Peach Festival Parade on Saturday, Aug. 10. (submitted)

Okanagan child amputee aims to inspire others

The 13-year-old spends her youth defying a disability

A child who was born as an amputee in China and adopted at the age of 15 months by Kelowna parents is becoming a symbol of inspiration for children who have the same struggles.

Haddessah Block now serves as a CHAMP (child amputee) safety ambassador for the War Amps PLAYSAFE campaign, teaching children preventative measures on playing safe in their environment and helping others come to terms with their disability.

“It’s great,” the 13-year-old said, “I really like inspiring people.”

Her mother, Darienne Block, said Haddessah is a very confident child and although she has difficulty doing tasks that others take for granted — tying shoelaces, doing her hair — she doesn’t let it get her down.

“There are some struggles where you have this moment where you think you can’t do anything, but then you just do it,” Haddessah said with ease; resilience comes naturally to her.

READ MORE: Airport Inn Lakeside owner cares for his residents but not the Lake Country Calendar

READ MORE: Kelowna local acts as a role model for other amputees

Darienne said her daughter is starting to take on other responsibilities, such as being a junior councillor for children who are learning how to live with having an amputation.

“She will be encouraging younger amputees to live their life the best they can,” Darienne said. “Nothing slows her down.”

Not even at the playground; Darienne said her daughter learned how to wrap her partial left-hand around the monkey bars to swing across when she was younger.

Now, she has taken to cooking dishes as tough as Creole blackened chicken, according to Darienne, she might even be a better cook than her parents.

Haddessah said that she thinks about being a chef in the future, not even thinking about how her physical disability could hold her back.

Then again, who knows what path Haddessah will want to take in the future.

“I’m only 13!”



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Just Posted

Wildfire sparks beside Highway 3 west of Keremeos

A wildfire on the side of Highway 3 just west of Keremeos… Continue reading

Rain in the forecast for much of the Southern Interior

Rain for much of the day in most areas clearing in the evening

Warmer fall weather could extend wildfire season: AccuWeather

Above seasonal temperatures are expected throughout September, October and November

Town experiments with protecting eroding brown bridge deck

Unusual wear and tear on the decking of Princeton’s brown bridge has… Continue reading

Word on the Street: Festivalgoers at the 27th annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Swimming advisory issued for Summerland beach

Bacterial counts exceed guidelines

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read