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

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

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Men in a work camp at Mile 46 on the Big Bend Highway. 
(Revelstoke Museum and Archives Photo 2259)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for June 17

Bumper strawberry crop, Mt. Logan climbers and unemployment relief

(File)
‘It’s not going to work here’: Revelstoke mayor to meet province over ambulance changes

There is a new system being introduced across the province called Scheduled On-Call (SOC)

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The crosswalk is at Third Street and Mackenzie and was installed on June 17. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Painting a rainbow: First Pride crosswalk installed in Revelstoke

‘It signals to the community that this city is inclusive,’ Mayor Gary Sulz

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Most Read