Marc bence/for metro edmonton


From left to right: Sean Borle, Brian Wade and Alex Starker attended a War Amps conference yesterday, where Wade offered young amputees some advice on how to combat bullying.

“A lot of people are more aware of what it’s like living with disabilities, but … bullying (is) quite serious.”

While growing up in a small town, Brian Wade quickly got used to passing through a sea of stares.

But rather than trying to hide the fact he was born without limbs, the 31-year-old has risen above his disability and now shares an inspiring message with young amputees when it comes to everyday life.

“When someone stares at me, sometimes I will usually laugh and say, ‘thank you, I didn’t know I was that handsome,’” said Wade, a jump start manager with the War Amps Champ program.

Wade gave some sage advice to about 150 children and parents about what to do when faced with bullying yesterday at the closing day of the War Amps Western Seminar.

While some children talked about being called “Peg-Leg” and “Captain Hook” by their peers, Wade said children and parents need to educate others about what it’s like living as an amputated person.

“Right now, a lot of people are more aware of what it’s like living with disabilities, but when bullying does happen, it’s quite serious,” said Wade.

“Most bullies just want to show themselves up because they are insecure about their own situations. That’s why they try to find someone who they think isn’t so secure about themselves.”

Twelve-year-old student Sean Borle says he would often be at the brunt of some bullying at his school, including once being called a “freak.” Borle, who is missing an arm, said he’s developed his own positive strategy to deal with bullies.

“I tell them that if they want, they can ask questions and I will give them an answer,” said Borle. “Some people just don’t understand it and we have to help them understand.”

Wade says said people, no matter what their disability, need to “stand up to bullying by being proud of their artificial arms and legs that will lead them to have successful lives.

“It’s all about feeling good about yourself, laughing about yourself and have a great attitude,” said Wade.

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