Her classmates used to call her Elephant Girl because her right leg is bigger than the left. Due to her condition, Amy had to stop from becoming a beauty queen.
She spent most of her life hiding her right leg. Half of her body was inflamed and large, and she was told she would never become an athlete.
Now 38, Amy was also told she would be confined to a wheelchair by mid-30s, but she managed to prove all of those to be false! She won Junior Miss Missouri, played a wide range of sports, and now finding the right treatment for lymphedema.
She managed to make it her mission to empower women to embrace all features that they feel self-conscious or insecure about. Amy is now an advocate through her non-profit, Ninjas Fighting Lymphedema Foundation.
Growing up with lymphedema meant the right side of her body was inflamed and swelling from ears to toes. She would attract rude comments and reactions from her classmates, who would call her ‘girl with the big leg’, ‘elephant leg’ or ‘elephant girl.’
To fight against her bullies, she entered into a pageant and won the title of Miss Junior America, Missouri.
In 2012, her doctors told her she would never be an athlete and she would be in a wheelchair after 30.
At that time, her right leg was 200 percent bigger than the left, so she decided to go to another doctor who successfully reduced the swelling.
It was in 2014 when she embraced her big leg. She participated in many sports such as weight lifting, sky diving, kickboxing, boxing, and yoga. She is currently taking dance lessons.
Her right leg is now just one percent bigger than the left, thanks to the doctor who managed to reduce the swelling.
“My right leg was two-hundred percent larger than my left leg when I started this reduction journey and now my leg is one percent larger at this point,” Amy expressed.
“I hid my lymphedema from the world for well over a decade and one day I was talking with a co-worker who body shamed herself for being “fat” and I immediately felt compelled to share my secret that I hid under the skirts and dresses,” she said.
“I wanted her to feel comfortable in her own body but in order to do that I had to accept mine and lead by example. Once I did that, I embraced the title ‘beauty queen with the big leg’ ever since.
“I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything; I call my disease my blessing because I’m able to help others find their way out of the darkness and begin to heal and love themselves. I truly love myself and love that I have a calling to help heal others.”
You are beautiful inside and out, Amy!
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