Josh Vander Vies is a Canadian paralympic athlete Diane contacted after we found him on the internet. Here’s his reply to Di’s e-mail. We were really touched that he responded:
Thanks so much for your email. I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond – I am trying to wrestle my schedule under control after being back from the Paralympics!
I have no idea what if feels like to lose limbs, but I do know what it is like to live without most of the limbs that others have. It would be so great to keep in contact with you and your family.
Please keep me updated on how things are going, and let me know how I can help. I imagine a lot of medical professionals are telling you a lot of things, and recommending a lot of daily living strategies. What I have found is that the simplest solution is often the best.
I tried prosthetic limbs when I was younger, but they just hampered me. People with hands can only imagine how to do things with hands, but there are plenty of simple and effective ways to do things without hands. You saw how I dress myself in the video – I actually normally just wear pants with elastic waists so I don’t have to carry around the zipper hook with me during the day. I feed myself using wrist sweat bands on my arm, and then sticking the utensil in the sweat band.
It would be great to Skype one day.
As far as sports and athletes go, I would recommend:
- swimming (Phillipe Croizon: http://bit.ly/PG2i1P)
- wheelchair rugby (Nick Springer:http://bit.ly/PG2uhD)
- maybe wheelchair tennis in a power chair (Nick Taylor: http://bit.ly/PG2ON6)
- wrestling (Kyle Maynard:http://bit.ly/PG2ZIh)
- or of course boccia (Josh Vander Vies:http://bit.ly/PG3dPL)!
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
All the best,