Warrensburg girl is back to being a kid after losing part of leg to cancer

WARRENSBURG, Mo. - Andy and Debbie Shull's backyard in Warrensburg looks just like the Fourth of July. Hamburgers and hotdogs are on the grill, the adults are hanging out in the shade and their daughter Gabi is bouncing on the trampoline with all her friends.

Andy and Debbie always knew their family would get here.

"You become determined and you focus on a positive outcome and that's all you believe in," Andy said.

"We never thought once that she wasn't going to make it," Debbie said.

Gabi, 12, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a form of bone cancer – in March 2011. It appeared in her right knee.

Doctors removed much of Gabi's leg, then she underwent a rare procedure called "rotationplasty." Doctors saved Gabi's foot, turned it around and now the heel is under her new knee. The rest of her leg is prosthetic.

Undergoing painful rehabilitation, Gabi took her first steps without a walker in March 2012.

"It was really cool. I was crying and so was my mom. I remember that," Gabi said.

"There's no way she could be doing what she's doing if she would've had to go with a different option," Debbie said.

The Shulls are thankful for rotationplasty every single day. Gabi is even back to dancing competitively, which is her passion.

"You have to have a lot of faith and you just have to keep a really positive attitude because if you're negative, then everything's going to be negative if you have a negative attitude," Gabi said.

Gabi has been cancer-free for more than two years now. She begins seventh grade this fall.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments