When Gabi Shull was diagnosed with cancer, she feared that she would never dance again. According to PopSugar, the 15-year-old ballerina from Missouri had part of her leg amputated while being treated for osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affected her knee. But Shull received a new type of surgery that reattached her own foot at the knee. The procedure allowed her to continue her ballet career with a prosthetic leg.
According to Woman's Day, the cancer was discovered when Shull was 9: she fell while ice skating and injured her knee. Several weeks later, after pain and swelling, she went to the hospital for an X-ray and doctors discovered the cancer in her knee. Doctors worked with Shull to treat her cancer with an unconventional surgical procedure: they removed her knee joint, rotated her foot 180 degrees, then rejoined it to her leg, allowing it to function like a knee. The result: when Shull points her foot, her prosthetic is straight, it bends when she flexes her foot. "It's a unique surgery," Shull told People. "Not for everybody, but it was worth it for me." Five years after her surgery, Shull now takes ballet, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, and jazz dance classes, in addition to dancing competitively and being a national spokesperson for The Truth 365, a cancer awareness organization for kids.