When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
The truth is that this is easier said than done, but a woman named Jessica Quinn learned how to make lemonade with the lemons life gave her and she’s now living her life to the fullest besides the ordeal she was forced to go through as a child and all the stares and hurtful comment she has received over the years.
When she was just eight years old, this now 30-year-old mom-to-be was a very energetic and athletic child. But that was until she tried to show off her skills and stood on a soccer ball after which she fall down and broke her femur.
“I was outside playing with my sister, and I decided to stand on a soccer ball just trying to balance and show off a little bit, but I fell off and snapped my femur bone.” She continued, “I got rushed into hospital and they did surgery and tried to heal the break. They spent about three or four months trying to heal the bone, like they normally would, without realizing why it had broken in the first place.”
Following a surgery and a number of other treatments, the bone wouldn’t heal even after four months, leaving Jessica in excruciating pain. Puzzled, doctors ran additional tests and that’s when they discovered she had osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that often develops in the cells that form bones.
Jessica was immediately treated with intensive chemotherapy, side effects that included her weight dropping down to a dangerous 18 kilograms.
“It was just the only way to really get rid of everything and save my life.” Jessica continues, “But there were a few things at play. Because I’d broken my leg, it was complicated by the risk of the cancer being spread. They had also tried to fix the leg by putting rods up my femur bone, so having a bone replacement or anything like that was just not really an option. The goal was simply to save my life.”
Doctors presented the family with two options.
One was “a full hip disarticulation,” that she describes as an amputation high in her hip socket.
“But that kind of gives you nothing to attach your prosthetic to, so you don’t have a knee joint, and I was a really active kid, and I was only a kid, so I wanted to live as normal a life as possible.”
The second option was a groundbreaking surgery and the first of that kind to ever be performed in New Zealand.
It was rotationplasty, a surgery that removes the middle part of a leg, that is then rotated 180 degrees and reattached to the thigh, allowing the ankle to serve as the knee joint and her calf as her thigh.
“I was the first person in New Zealand to successfully undergo this kind of amputation,” Jessica said.
Over time, Jessica learned how to live her life to the fullest and accepted herself the way she is. She regained her self-confidence and became inspiration to millions. Today, she’s an athlete, a model, and an influencer with almost one million TikTok followers.
“I wanted to tackle this cookie cutter mould of the perfect body portrayed in the media. My dream was to see people like myself with real bodies represented,” she shared with the New Zealand Herald.
In a popular video she shared, Jessica answered the question, “Do you hide your insecurities?” “8-year-old me: hide your prosthetic leg so no one stares. 29-year-old me: no!” she captioned the video showing her puling down her shorts to hide her prosthetic at first and then proudly posing and showing it to the world to see.
This proud woman even took part in Dancing With the Stars and raised $55,000 for New Zealand’s Child Cancer Foundation.
“Walking is hard for me, let alone dancing. That was the furthest I’ve ever pushed myself outside my comfort zone.” She continued, “Seeing the effect my message has had on all these kids who ask me to have photos with them is an awesome feeling.”
Recently, she posted about her life and everything she has gone through. Her post was seen by over 1 million people. “21 years ago today I was wheeled into a 14 hour amputation that would hopefully save my life. After a lengthy cancer battle my unique surgery (see my other videos) was done as a last option to survive. I wish I could go back and tell younger me the life I’d go on to live, what a 21 years it has been. Here’s to many more,” she wrote.
However, no matter how much she inspires many, there are also those who post negative comments.
Posting a video of her pregnant belly, she addressed the mean commenters who wrote “I would like to see which man was this level of brave plz” and “who the hell pregnanted her.”
Jessica responded, “I HONESTLY do not get down about comments like this. I truly am proud of the body I live in. I know everything I went through to get to this point and it’s all an incredible miracle in my eyes.” She continued, “I also love the community I have built, it’s only when my videos go viral and are shared with people who haven’t followed my story that these comments appear and that just shows we can’t judge a book by [its] cover.”
Her supporters showed they were by her side and wrote heartfelt messages. I always think how lonely, sad and unfulfilled these faceless internet trolls are to write such things,” and “The fact these comments don’t phase you Jess make you even more of an inspiration to me.”
We wish Jessica never loses her positive attitude.
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