Gabi Shuttle was diagnosed with bone cancer when she was just 11 years old. She fell on, and scraped her knee while ice skating in January 2011, which led to her family and her finding out about the disease.
Part of the treatment involved amputating her leg above the knee. Prior to this incident, Gabi had been dancing for 3 years. This disease threatened her chances of becoming a professional dancer. But rather than giving in, she opted for a unique kind of surgery called Rotationplasty. It is a type of autograft surgery where a portion of the limb is removed and the remaining portion below this removed portion is then rotated and reattached. For Gabi, the affected area was her knee , which carried the cancer. It was removed and instead, the lower leg and feet were twisted 18 degrees backwards and reattached to her upper thigh. There are only about 12 rotationplasty surgeries every year in the United States.
But one thing kept her motivated was her love for dancing. Today, she is dancing competitively and is an inspiration to all of us. She is using her experiences to help others through The Truth 365 – a social media campaign that gives a voice to children suffering from cancer. Gabi has even bigger dreams for the future. She would like to specialise in paediatrics or work as a nurse or scientist. She hopes to one day help find a cure for cancer.
The Don’t Give Up World community salutes her determination and courage and wishes her all the success in her life.