In 2010, Missouri native Gabi Shull noticed a sharp pain in her right knee after a skating accident. At the age of 9, an MRI revealed she had a tumor in her knee and lower femur.
Gabi was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. The thought of not being able to perform was a crushing blow for the little girl who loved to dance since she was three.
But here’s where Gabi’s story takes a fascinating turn.
Surgeons performed a jaw-dropping procedure called rotationplasty, in which the knee is removed and the lower leg is rotated backwards and fused with the thigh. The ankle, in turn, functions as the knee. Gabi’s leg was amputated to make way for the surgery.
When Gabi removes her prosthetic, her right leg is completely backwards.
She learned how to walk for the second time to the point she no longer needed crutches or a wheelchair. After just one year of therapy, Gabi mastered the use of her leg. She also picked up where she left off and has continued her passion for competitive dancing.
In the video below, Gabi reveals her ankle-turned-knee and travels to Houston to perform in a fundraiser for children battling cancer. Not only does she dazzle the audience with her inspiring performance, but she also meets two other young cancer survivors waiting for their prosthetic legs.
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