We’re so pleased to be raising awareness of ‘limb differences’ with the help of our community member Bianca, and her son Callum.
Callum, who is 3 in March, lives life with an ‘upper limb difference’, but he doesn’t let it stop him from living life to its fullest! We’ve been following his progress since his early days over in our online community, and we’re over the moon to be bringing light to his condition here.
We hope that this helps to educate anyone who is unfamiliar with this condition, too!
What is a ‘limb difference?
A limb difference is essentially quite self explanatory; it’s a medical condition causing a limb to be different – smaller, shorter, less developed, there are so many different forms it can take and lots of different potential causes. It usually occurs early on in foetal development, and more often than not a cause isn’t identified.
You can have a congenital limb difference (born with, like Callum), or an acquired limb difference due to an illness or accident. There are quite a few different terms used to describe a congenital limb difference, like ‘Congenital Limb Reduction’, and the medical term ‘Dysmelia’ is also used to describe this.
Awareness Raising Organisations
There are some excellent organisations who raise awareness of and provide support for parents and children with a limb difference, and we’ll take a look at what they do.
The Lucky Fin Project
Started by founder Molly Stapelman after the birth of her daughter Ryan in 2007 (Ryan also has a limb difference), this project is a worldwide support network which provides support, education and resources on limb differences, and also fund raises for children with a limb difference to allow them to access things like prosthetics, specialised camps etc.
LimbBo are another amazing organisation for people who have a limb difference! They aim to bring parents and children impacted by limb differences together, build charitable assisted devices for people with a limb difference (we love their focus on 3D printing and developing prototypes with universities), providing information pamphlets to hospitals to help educate new parents of babies with a limb difference, provide adventure days to children with a limb difference, plus much more!
LimBo and the Lucky Fin Project are helping to bring Bianca, her partner and Callum out to Michigan in June 2020 so that they can attend the Lucky Fin Project Weekend and meet other people like Callum! LimBo Foundation are flying them out, and the Lucky Fin Project have sorted their accommodation for them. How wonderful!
A Note From Mummy Bianca Little…
“We have never officially been given a name for his condition other than an upper limb difference.
Essentially we found out at Callum’s 12 week scan that there was an abnormality but to which extent was undisclosed. They just said he might not have a little bit of his arm. As soon as they said there was an abnormality we were offered a termination.
It was such a hard time, the first scan.”
Bianca has chronicled Callum’s story over on his Instagram here – it is wonderful to see him doing so well and loving life! It just goes to show that we should never underestimate anyone, no matter what. Callum can even ride a scooter – we’re so inspired.
Here are some of our favourite posts…
View this post on Instagram
Swipe for the now photo! For those who follow us from when Callum was born you’ll know that when we found @lucky_fin_project we also found @bionicauthor these books have grown with us and are read almost daily in our household! Such a massive importance to have some sort of tool that lets your child feel a part of something. Callum loves saying that he wants to read the book “with the boy like me” Also if you swipe to callums now photo the jumper he is wearing is from @mighty.acorns who, if you have a child with a limb difference can alter the clothing to suit your child! Incredible right? We chose to keep our sleeve though to encourage prosthetic use. 🦾🧡 Also how much has Callum grown! Can’t believe he will be three in March 😭😭 #luckyfin #bionicauthor #tenfingersareoverrated #bornthisway #limbdifferenceawareness
Thank you to Bianca for allowing us to share Callum’s story with our followers!
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx