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"Give it a Go" 2017

New Plymouth 2017 was my second time attending the Amputee Federation National Conference, but my first time at Give it a Go. And what a time it was! Being able to spend a whole weekend with a group of young people who just ‘got it’ was an incredible and priceless experience. 15 young people of different ages, from different places and backgrounds, all with the shared experience of being an amputee.  We cheered each other on as we each tackled the rock climbing wall. We celebrated as each of us conquered our fears on the high ropes. We counted down as one by one we took a leap of faith, backwards, off a bridge.  I had no excuse not to participate in any of the activities. No one had any excuses… because we all faced the same challenges. No one was left behind. This was a new and exciting experience for me. Usually I am the odd one out, the one who needs extra consideration because of my impairment. But not this time.  When I think of the new friendships I formed and the old friendships that were strengthened, I think of a bunch of brilliant, empowered, confident and outgoing young people. Amputees who are leaders within their families, their whanau and their work places. We laughed, we cried, we shared, we grew and we gave it a go.  I can’t wait to give it another go next year
—Robbie Francis

This was my first year attending this event and I was excited if not a little nervous.  I had nothing to worry about as it was very well organised and I was looked after the moment I stepped off the plane.  Meeting other amputees in my age group and even one of them lives in the same town as me that I had no idea about, was amazing.  To be able to give it a go on activities that I would not normally even attempt to do was something I will never forget.  Normally if I was to partake in activities I would be the only one in the group to have a disability, so at GIAG it was good to not even have to think about how I was going to adapt to the situation or activity.  As a group we all supported each other and I now have a network of support/friends that I will be keeping in touch with. Thanks!
—Brooke Donaldson

23 years I’ve had my artificial leg, and it was only because of GIAG that I was able to meet an amazing group of people that were just like me, and in the same age group. I’m not able to express how good that felt. But enduring challenging tasks that able bodied people struggle with, and seeing new found friends able to do it, gave me such a new found confidence and view that if you could do it, there’s no way I can’t. Just staying at the hotel where you’d walk around the corner and bump into an amputee built my confidence and helped me feel comfortable in my skin. I can’t wait for next year and the many years to come. GIAG brought out a passion for me to want to get involved.
—Danielle Neeson-Morgan

This was my 3rd year taking part in Give it a Go, but this year I helped organize/run the event. I can’t thank the sponsorship enough for allowing this event to happen.  Amputees, new and old to GIAG, took part in this year’s activities. It included rock climbing, high rope course and a bridge swing. The activities throughout the day were brilliant. All of us were faced with challenges when trying to complete these activities.  No matter how difficult it was for us, we gave all three of these activities a go.  It was amazing to see us all work together as a group and to help everyone out.  All of us face challenges every day living as an amputee.  We mostly face these challenges by ourselves as people around us can only imagine what it would be like living with an amputation.  With GIAG, we faced challenges together as a group.  We helped, supported and encouraged each other with these challenges that were given to us. Only another amputee can completely understand what challenges an amputee faces everyday.  Because of GIAG it has allowed us to meet amazing amputees from around the country.  I have met some amazing people because of it. The best thing about being an amputee is being involved with GIAG.
—Matt Bryson


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