This teenage ballerina's post-cancer comeback is so inspiring
When you’re an athlete, injuries can threaten to be the end of your career. And when you’re a dancer, losing a leg seems like the ultimate injury.
But after surviving osteosarcoma, 15-year-old Gabi Shull wasn’t about to let anything stop her.
After being diagnosed with the bone cancer in her knee at the age of nine, Gabi learned that she’d need to go undergo an amputation, but she just wasn’t ready to give up on her dream, says Seventeen.
Instead of a simple amputation, surgeons performed a super-rare procedure called a rotationplasty.
Gabi’s foot and part of her calf were saved — and then reattached to her thigh, but backwards. It sounds like something out of science fiction, but in reality it allowed Gabi’s ankle to function and bend as a knee-joint would. With the help of a prosthetic, this teen is back to pliéing and jetéing as normal — she even has a second prosthetic for dancing en pointe!
And she’s not just a ballerina. She also dances jazz, hip-hop, lyric and contemporary.
Want to see for yourself? Check out this incredible video from PopSugar.
Gabi’s not just a dancer, though. She’s also a national spokesperson for TheTruth365, a documentary project aiming to give kids with cancer a voice, and a true inspiration to dancers everywhere.