Warrensburg ballerina, childhood cancer survivor dazzles and advocates for change

WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- A local teen's incredible story is inspiring people around the world.

Touched by cancer, Gabi Shull has now recovered. Now, the Warrensburg High School senior is a national spokesperson for a pediatric cancer campaign and her work can be seen on multiple platforms.

"Live your life to the fullest because you never know,” Gabi said. “I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which is a form of bone cancer, when I was 9 years old."

Her diagnosis resulted in a form of amputation known as rotationplasty.

“I don't see myself any different," Gabi said.

The former dancer couldn't walk and spent seven months in rehab before she was able to take her first step.

That was just the beginning.

"Ever since, dance has meant so much more to me because it's a way that I can just get everything out,” she said.

Gabi Shull

Gabi is a ballerina; she dances "en pointe," on the tips of her toes. A video of her accomplishing the feat has been viewed all over the world. It led to a featured role in the latest Apple Watch Series Four commercial.

Gabi uses that edge to inspire people around the globe.

She's the national spokesperson for "The Truth365." The organization's mission is to raise awareness about childhood cancer and the lack of funding it receives from the National Cancer Institute.

"It's out there and kids are the future, so I think they should receive more funding," Gabi said.

The Warrensburg teen is an advocate and speaks at events locally and in Washington D.C.

“It's about 36 children, so it's like a classroom of children a day," Gabi said of the number of children diagnosed with cancer each day.

And her passion is catching attention.

"She's such a quiet hero to so many people. Not just in this town and not just in our dance studio, but of course the whole world,” said Jennifer Renfrow, owner of Center Stage Academy of the Performing Arts.

Renfrow owns the dance studio where Gabi trains. She's known Gabi since she was 3 years old and said Gabi teaches her something new every day.

“Her perseverance I think would be one of the things that is remarkable," Renfrow said.

Gabi has no plans of stopping.

"It makes me incredibly happy," she said.

Gabi is a jazz, ballet, contemporary, lyrical and pointe dancer. She's also a varsity football cheerleader and has been one all four years of high school.

If you know a young achiever who is 18 years old or younger and is doing exceptional things, FOX4 wants to hear from you. Nominate them here.

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