I was born with Hanhart Syndrome (without arms or legs) in Brazil and was abandoned by my mother right after I was born. My adoptive mother heard my story on television and she couldn’t get it out of her mind. She used to say that it felt right to bring me home and it was just something that she was supposed to do. She wanted me to have a family to call my own. My parents have always treated me like a normal person and I’m grateful to them for bringing me to Utah. I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without them. They have given me a new life. Just like my 13 other siblings, I take part in scripture reading every morning followed by a workout where I climb the stairs up and down 20 times every day to keep myself in good shape. The only time I used my wheelchair was to get to school.
I first discovered my passion for dance when I was in the 7th grade and I choreographed a dance for my school talent show. It was difficult to keep it a secret from my family, but it was something I just wanted to do for myself so I practiced for weeks and customised my moves. After receiving a standing ovation from the audience, I didn’t want to stop. In my sophomore year, I made it to the dance with along with 28 girls. My teammates treated me like a normal person and didn’t look at my disability, just my ability to dance and be a part of a team. Being able to show my talent and not be defined by my disability meant a lot to me. Students started approaching me and welcomed me with open arms into their world. I love how I’m able to express myself through movement. I feel different when I’m dancing and I’m grateful for all the happiness it has brought into my life.