PASADENA —Vanessa Brennan knows all about challenges.
Born missing all five fingers on her right hand, the 18-year-old Pasadena native has been invited to be a junior counsellor at the War Amps Atlantic Child Amputee Seminar in Halifax, N.S. later this month to help kids in similar predicaments.
The seminar, which runs from Aug. 17-19, will consist of information sessions designed to help those dealing with amputation.
Brennan has been attending the sessions since she was 10 months old and this will be her sixth time attending as a counsellor.
Brennan will help infants to 18-year-olds to overcome challenges such as to tie their shoes or put their hair up in a pony tail.
"They'll get together and learn how to adapt to different situations," she said.
"I know for me it's a place of acceptance, I'm shy about my hand in public, but we can just be ourselves at the seminar and help each other."
The kids help each other out with bullying issues as well.
Having grown up in a small town, Brennan said she was fortunate to have never really been picked on or teased as a child, but it is an issue that other kids missing limbs need help with. It will most likely be the topic of one of the sessions during the three-day event.
"We hear stories from people all the time about what kids go through," she said. "It's maybe something that people do to make them feel better about themselves, but I have not found something that I cannot do, I always find ways to adapt, which helps me a lot."
Other sessions of which Brennan would be a part will include, information on employment, learning to drive and body image.
It was through the program that Brennan said she was able to see various advances in artificial limbs, and obtained an artificial hand for weight lifting.