15-Year-old Girl Continues Dancing Even After Amputation (WATCH)

15-Year-old Girl Continues Dancing Even After Amputation (WATCH)

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Even though Gabi Shull lost one of the most important tools necessary for dancing, she overcame her deficit to continue doing what she loves.

Gabi goes to Warrensburg High School in Kansas City, Missouri. She attends regular classes, participates in extracurricular activities, and has hobbies no different than her peers – but this 15-year-old is different than most teens.

7 years ago, she injured her knee while ice skating. When the pain persisted for several weeks longer than doctors had predicted, she underwent an MRI scan which exposed an abnormal growth in Gabi’s knee. She and her mother Debbie were then given the diagnosis that would change their lives forever—a cancerous tumor was growing, caused by osteosarcoma.

“When we were told this news,” Debbie wrote in an article, “it was shocking, heartbreaking, scary, unnerving, and so many other emotions—all at the same time.”

After several rounds of unsuccessful chemotherapy, there were no options left except for amputation.

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In June, 2011, Gabi Shull went in for surgery, hoping she could turn it into a new beginning.

The road to recovery was swift, because her progress was fueled by passion. Merely 9 months after her operation, she began to walk again. Then, she started dancing.

“Dancing means a lot to me,” explains Gabi in a Truth 365 video. “I think it’s the main thing that motivated me to keep going and to learn to walk again, because I really just wanted to get back on the stage again.”

From jazz to hip hop, ballet to contemporary, Gabi expresses herself through movement – and Keith Andrews, her prosthetist, makes sure she has the equipment to do so.

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In order to cater to Gabi’s dancing needs, Andrews designed and manufactured a cone shaped prosthetic foot meant to mimic the “pointe” stance of a ballet dancer.

“They took out my knee area, which is the portion the cancer was in,” says Gabi. “They took my lower leg and foot, twisted it 180 degrees backwards, and attached it to my thigh. Whenever I point my foot, it straightens the prosthesis, and whenever I flex my foot, it bends the prosthesis.”

Gabi is not only an inspiration, but also an example – an example showing us that the beauty of dance comes not from an able body, but rather from the passionate heart that beats within.

(WATCH the video below)

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