My older brother is a dancer and singer, and a very good one. He has a natural talent, which is extremely impressive and brilliant to watch. So far, he has been able to do this without too many challenges getting in the way. A lot of people think if they cannot do something that means they shouldn’t do it. Or if they used to be able to do it but now there is a reason they can’t so they give up. I’m not criticising anyone who does this because it is a normal reaction, giving into defeat. However there are some people in the world that would do anything to be able to do what they love.
In Missouri, USA, there is a young girl called Gabi Shull that got diagnosed with a type of cancer called osteocarcoma when she was nine-years-old. This incredibly brave girl, now 14-years-old, had surgery that got rid of her knee and part of her lower leg where the cancer was. Her lower leg and foot were rotated to face the opposite way and reattached to her upper leg, her ankle acting as her knee. This then fits onto a prosthetic leg and she can very capably do everything she wants to do, especially dancing. She has described the surgery as “a unique surgery that’s not for everybody but it works for me”. She can change the foot of her prosthetic leg for different activities, her favourite being ballet dancing. This young girl is amazing. Not only has she survived cancer but also she didn’t stop doing what she loves just because of her illness. I bet we can all think of someone, even if it’s ourselves, who have stopped doing an activity that they love for a reason less than that. I’m sure she is a great inspiration to the people around her.
There is a dance company called Candoco who are a group of disabled and non-disabled people inspired by each other to carry on their love of dancing. It was founded by Celeste Dandeker and Adam Benjamin in 1991; since then the group has expanded, done world tours and inspired members to set up their own companies. The fact that these people have disabilities does not take away how graceful they are and how beautiful they look. One of the dancers in the company is called Tanja Erhart who had to get her leg amputated at the age of six. She uses crutches or a wheelchair to be able to dance and she looks incredibly beautiful doing it. The mental and physical strength she has is amazing! They are all wonderful to watch as a group and even just looking at pictures of them is inspiring, they have obviously not let difficulties get in their way.
Cancer survivor Gabi Shull explains Rotationplasty-
, Mary Jordan