The Short of It
A Missouri girl who thought she might never dance again after battling cancer is back en pointe with the help of a prosthetic limb.
Gabi Shull received a devastating diagnosis when she was 9 years old: osteosarcoma. It would mean part of the young dance lover's leg would have to be amputated.
Although a new prosthetic allowed the brave girl to walk and dance again by age 14, it was not conducive to dancing en pointe. But prosthetist Keith Andrews stepped up to make Shull's dream come true by making her a special prosthetic leg.
"I wasn't sure how it was going to work, and then she immediately got up on pointe, and started moving around and practicing, and I was like, "Whoa! This is going to work better than I expected it would,'" Andrews told Fox 4 KC TV.
A short video of the girl's first dance en pointe that was posted to Facebook has garnered millions of views. It's very clear how thrilled the teen is to be back on her toes.
"Dancing means a lot to me. I think it's the main thing that motivated me to keep going and to learn to walk again because I just really wanted to get back on stage," Shull told Fox 4 KC TV.
Shull's story is certainly inspiring, but her message to others is what touched me the most: "I've learned not to judge people by how they look or what's different about them, because you don't really know what the situation was or what they've been through."
Here's hoping these words reach other kids who are struggling with a disability, because it's possible to achieve dreams, even despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Gabi is proof of that.