An amputee believes this year will be key in making his Paralympic dream become a reality.
Matthew Short, 22, of South Ealing, was told in 2007 he had Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, and had his leg amputated below the knee in March 2008.
Mr Short, who is currently training to be a solicitor, suffered a relapse in 2010 when the cancer was found in his lungs during a check up.
However, it went into remission and after his second battle with the disease was over, the 22-year-old decided it was time to get back into skiing, a sport he had loved before getting ill.
Thanks to a prosthetic skiing leg, developed for him by The London Prosthetic Centre, based in Kingston upon Thames, Mr Short is hoping to take part in the 2016 Paralympic games.
He began learning to ski again in autumn 2012, including training alongside the British Disabled Ski Team.
The 22-year-old said: “Skiing with the development squad was fantastic and joining the team is something that I’m very keen to do.
“I’m still fairly new to it all, but I’m hoping to be good enough for the 2016 Paralympics.”
Mr Short’s NHS prosthesis allows him to play sports such as squash, as well as walking and running, but is not suited to the slopes, so he turned to Abdo Haidar, consultant prosthetist at The London Prosthetics Centre, and the design of the new leg is now well under way.
The trainee solicitor said: “The London Prosthetic Centre has been fantastic. They’re incredibly efficient and really know what they’re doing.
“They’re working hard to fine tune the design of the leg at every stage and I’m confident they’ll deliver exactly what I need.”
Mr Haidar said: “Our aim is to provide Matt with the ideal solution, to help him achieve his goals on the slopes and embark on his Paralympic dream.
“Once the leg is complete, I’ll be visiting the indoor skiing slope at Hemel Hempstead to watch Matt ski and see if the leg requires alterations.”
The London Prosthetic Centre, one of the largest suppliers of prosthetic, orthotic and assistive care in the world, is the only facility in London to provide cutting-edge prosthetic care within a private facility, equipped with a modern workshop and silicone facilities.
For further information, visit www.thelondonprosthetics.com.