Teenage amputee has achieved great success despite disability

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It’s fair to say that some of us take the simple task of walking for granted.

For others, like young Calgarian Trinity Tratch, it represents a difficult challenge to overcome. The 15-year-old wears prosthetics on his two legs to assist him everyday with walking. He is an below-right-knee and above-left-knee amputee.

Along with trying to deal with the physical challenges that come with being an amputee, Tratch says it’s a challenge to deal with the constant questions he faces from people that may not understand what he is going through.

“When you keep getting the same questions over and over constantly it is very annoying and it is very frustrating how people just cannot understand and why people cannot get educated at schools and stuff like that,” he says.

The questions that Tratch constantly finds himself answering includes: why are you an amputee; How did it happen; How do you do certain things?

However, despite the challenges Tratch does not let his disability rule his life.

While just a teenager, Tratch has proven to be a role model for other child amputees through his involvement in sports and other activities. It is for this reason that he has been chosen as a junior counsellor and role model at the War Amps 2014 Western Child Amputee (CHAMP) Seminar Aug. 15-17 in Winnipeg, Man.

This seminar brings together about 100 amputees from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It provides an opportunity for young amputees to talk about the obstacles they face on a daily basis along with discussing the various activities they are involved in back in their hometown.

“He is a really good role model for these kids as he is a really active young man,” says Jamie Lunn, a public relations officer with War Amps. “To see someone as active as he is encouraging to other child amputees to participate in any activity that you want to. Outside the seminars he is a really good representative as he is involved in many of our different programs delivering safety messages.”

While the War Amps value his presence at these annual seminars, Tratch himself feels like it’s important to attend this type of event.IMG 9338Tratch-Riding-BikeTrinity Tratch does not allow his disability to deter him from living an active lifestyle. Besides biking Tratch likes to swim, kayak and ski.

Photo by Zarif Alibhai

“It’s really important for me to go to the War Amps not just to learn about how to live life as an amputee but also to teach people since I have done so much with all the programs I have taken a part of it’s just nice to show the amputees that it may look challenging or impossible but, if you try, most things can be accomplished.”

While Tratch has been involved in different sports such as swimming, kayaking and biking, he is most well known for alpine-skiing.

He began skiing when he was five through the  Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing (CADS). His skills evolved to the extent that he earned a place on Alberta’s para-alpine ski team. In his past four years he has competed at different provincial and national events including the Canada games.

“I (have a) passion for competing. I really enjoy being on the course and the adrenaline” that comes from skiing, said Tratch, adding he also enjoys kayaking. “I love being in the outdoors.”

Tratch is also involved in many non-sports activities. He has been playing piano for 10 years, is the lead alto-saxophone in his school band, has earned top honours participating in Scouts and he is an honour roll student.

Undoubtedly Tratch’s sense of optimism and work ethic has led him to live the inspiring and successful life he is currently living, and its safe to say those character traits will help him achieve success in the future as well.


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