Sunday, July 3, 2016

Young cancer survivor without a leg inspires in incredible dance

When Gabi Shull and her family were told that she had developed a type of bone cancer at the age of nine, they were devastated, but met the challenge with an incredible amount of inner-strength and faith. Gabi bravely opted for radical life-saving—and life-changing—treatment, showing the Big C that it would not get the better of her.

In a recent video Gabi explains how the cancer was discovered when after a simple fall while ice skating, a bang to the knee just didn’t want to heal. A doctor’s exam went on to reveal that she had osteosarcoma, a bone cancer common in children and young adults. In order to save Gaby’s life, and give her a maximum chance of movement, talented doctors performed a rotationplasty, a procedure whereby the leg is amputated from the knee down and the ankle is reattached in a backward position to the thigh, forming a new knee joint, this allowing a prosthetic lower limb to be attached to her foot.

With such a daunting and frightening procedure looming, Gabi asked her parents a question so many of us would be inclined to ask: “Why does this happen to me?” Her parents response: “You know sometimes bad things happen to good people. We don’t know why, but we just have to do our best to get through it.”

Wise words. But Gabi set her sights even higher. She didn’t just get through this ordeal, Gabi used it to do extraordinary things. With determination and physical therapy, she was able to walk on her new prosthetic in just one year after surgery, and a year after that, she was on stage dancing … and she hasn’t stopped.

Cerith Gardiner
Aleteia - July 1, 2016