Teen Cancer Survivor And Amputee Competes In Race Again
An Arkansas teen lost her leg amid a battle with cancer — and now she's proving just how resilient she is while learning to run again. Abigail Wells was just 14 when her life was forever changed by a cancer diagnosis, according to CBS affiliate THV.
What Wells thought was a track-related injury ultimately turned out to be a common bone cancer called osteosarcoma, THV reported.
Osteosarcoma usually affects teenagers and starts in areas where the bone grows quickly, such as the end of the leg, according to the American Cancer Society. Treatment for the cancer may include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or, in Wells' case, an amputation.
As a runner on her school's track team, losing a leg would seem like the worst possible scenario, but for Wells, she knew it was the only way to save her life, THV reported. "I told them that I would rather lose my leg than lose my life because that meant more," Wells explained to THV. "I wanted to make sure I had a future after this and that I didn't have to worry about the cancer coming back."
Following her amputation, Wells focused on her recovery, with an ultimate goal of competing on her track team again, according to the outlet. Little by little, the teen worked her way to that goal — first by relearning to walk before mastering how to run with a prosthetic leg, THV reported.
"It started off with standing, and just trying to do a little fast walk, or try to get on the bike," she recalled to the outlet. "It was a long process to get to where I am now." Last week, Wells' efforts finally paid off when she got to return to the track and compete in a race, according to THV. For Wells, who is now a junior in high school, she said the moment was proof that she can overcome anything she puts her mind to and credited her family for helping her get there.
"All of those days in the hospital bed sick. All of the days I couldn't move," she shared with THV. "Sometimes, I didn't feel encouraged or I didn't feel the best."
"But the fact was my family was always by my side, so the fact of them being [at the meet], I ran up to them because we did this together," she added. "We made it together."