Independence dancer’s new prosthetic puts her ‘on pointe’ again after childhood cancer

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A young dancer’s dream is fulfilled by giving her foot – a lift.

Millions world-wide have seen her, and now, a 14-year-old’s video has some other dancers saying- I want a foot like that!

Gabi Shull has been dancing for years; it’s this teenager’s favorite hobby.  Her diagnosis when she was just 9 years old was potentially devastating. Gabi had osteosarcoma, and it required her to have a portion of her leg amputated.

“My main surgery was June 15th, 2011, the rotationplasty surgery, and what they did was take out my knee, which was the portion that had cancer,” Shull said.  “Now my ankle acts as my knee, and whenever I point my ankle, it straightens the prosthetic.”

Gabi is now back to walking, even dancing.

“Dancing means a lot to me. I think it’s the main thing that motivated me to keep going and to learn to walk again because I just really wanted to get back on stage,” said Shull.

But the one thing she couldn’t do – was dance on pointe.  That’s where Keith Andrews came in. Gabi told her prosthetist that she wanted to get a foot that allowed her to dance on pointe, and he wasn’t sure he could ever help her achieve that dream, but he tried.

“I wasn’t sure how it was going to work, and then she immediately got up on pointe, and started moving around and practicing, and I was like whoa- this is going to work better than I expected it would,” said Andrews.

A video, showing Gabi testing out her new prosthetic- went viral- millions of views in a couple days.  A simple dance, no choreography or flashy outfits, just Gabi proving there doesn’t need to be flashing lights for a performance to make an impact, and there doesn’t need to be two full legs for a dancer to become a star.

“I’ve learned not to judge people by how they look or what’s different about them, because you don’t really know what the situation was or what they’ve been through,” Shull said.

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