Sixteen-year-old Kate Foster from Rockford, Illinois lost her left leg when she was 12 years old due to a leukemia-related infection but the life-changing ordeal didn't stop her from turning into a competitive gymnast using a prosthetic leg.
At the age of seven, Kate learned to love tumbling. Barb Foster, Kate's mother, shared that her daughter adored gymnastics from the beginning and loved the extended gym time doing extra practices.
Then the leukemia diagnosis came and Kate was told that the infection on her left leg could potentially lead to her death. Amputation was the only option and Kate remembered her doctors telling her that it's either her leg or her life.
When Kate's left leg was amputated, she thought that her gymnastic days were over. However, her coach said something that changed her mindset.
"She said that she had never coached a one-legged gymnast before, but she was willing to try if I was," shared Kate, who is now 16 years old and competing in various nationwide gymnastics tournaments with her team.
Among her teammates, Kate is the only gymnast competing with the use of a prosthetic leg. Amazingly, she holds the same high standards as the rest of her teammates and was not told that she didn't have to do a particular routine because of her condition.
If she falls or needs assistance from her coach on the balance beam, she loses points. The same rules of the competition apply to Kate. The one-legged gymnast doesn't get any special treatment because of her status not even extra time.
Her father, Lynn Foster, posted a video of Kate doing a routine on a balance beam during a competition. The video garnered 5 million views in a just a matter of days.
"People tell me all the time that I'm an inspiration, but I'm just me," said Kate who aspires to become a doctor someday while still staying involved in gymnastics.
Another Inspirational Amputee
Thirty-year-old Stacy Paris, a fellow inspirational amputee, started a career as a model. Paris is a student at the University of Glasgow taking up molecular biology and she lost her two legs due to a rare flesh-eating bug disease but now wants to turn her disability into something positive.
She was recruited by the Models of Diversity and is the first Scot in the team. This advocacy group is encouraging the government to oblige modeling agencies to represent amputees.