Inspirational teen defies the odds to become ballet dancer after leg amputation

Gabi Shull, 15, from Missouri, America, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in her knee when she was 9.
Gabi Shull, 15, from Missouri, America, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in her knee when she was 9. Photo: Facebook/@thetruth365

A schoolgirl, who had her leg amputated after being diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in her knee, has defied odds to become a ballet dancer.

Gabi Shull, from Missouri, America, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in her knee after an ice skating accident when she was nine years old. 

The accident left Gabi with bruises and swelling, but after weeks of no improvement Gabi's mother Debbie became worried and took her to the hospital for an X-ray, according to Daily Mail.

Gabi Shull was determined to dance on pointe again.
Gabi Shull was determined to dance on pointe again. Photo: Facebook/@thetruth365

"We went to the doctor and he told us the news. He said, 'your daughter has what we think, could be cancer. A type of cancer called Osteosarcoma," Debbie told Daily Mail. 

Gabi began chemotherapy for 12 weeks to shrink the tumour and allow doctors to operate on it.

However, Gabi became worried that she wouldn't be able to dance again and was offered a rare procedure: rotationplasty

The treatment involved removing her affected knee, rotating her foot 180 degrees, then reattaching it to her upper leg, with her ankle serving as her knee.

"They took my lower leg and foot, twisted it 180 degrees backwards, and attached it to my thigh. Whenever I point my foot, it straightens the prosthesis, and whenever I flex my foot, it bends the prosthesis,"  Gabi explains in a Truth 365 video

Five years after the surgery, Gabi now dances competitively in pointe, hip-hop, contemporary, and jazz dance classes.

She has also become the face and national spokesperson for The Truth 365, a social media campaign that aims at raising awareness for children suffering from cancer.