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In spite of limb differences, Brooklyn is just like any other kid

 

Meet Brooklyn

Brooklyn is just like any other girl. She hangs out with her friends, and loves the color pink. In fact, she is proud to share that almost every outfit she wears has pink in it.

Brooklyn is very active, and tries everything at least once. She enjoys karate, tumbling dance class, and competing in Jump Rope for Heart. This summer, Brooklyn had a blast playing t-ball.

Brooklyn aspires to be a rock star, a scientist and wants to help rescue animals. In between these ventures, she plans to visit the Great Wall of China.

Her independent and sassy attitude sometimes gets her in trouble, too. According to her mom, Brooklyn can be naughty just like any other kid, and fondly remembers the time when her daughter insisted she be called “Dr. Brooklyn.”

What makes Brooklyn special

Brooklyn is missing most of her left arm, and her left leg was amputated when she was 10 months old.

Her parents, Nicki and Tim, found out about their child’s limb difference when Nicki was just 12 weeks pregnant. To prepare, Nicki did a lot of online research.

“Time, and knowing ahead of time, made it a lot easier,” says Nicki.

When Brooklyn was born, her left leg didn’t have knee or ankle joints. Her parents were faced with the difficult decision to amputate Brooklyn’s left leg to improve her mobility. After much consideration, Nicki and Tim believed amputation was the right choice.

Brooklyn received therapy at Mary Free Bed’s Center for Limb Differences after her amputation, and was fitted for a prosthetic leg by a Mary Free Bed prosthetist.

“I wouldn’t go anywhere else,” says Nicki. “I’ve always liked it here. The staff always goes the extra mile.”

At 11 months, Brooklyn could stand, with assistance, using her prosthetic leg. Since then, she has been through 6 prosthetic legs to keep up with her growth.

Today, Brooklyn enjoys picking out fun designs for her prosthesis. Her most recent prosthetic leg is covered in little hearts. Brooklyn is excited she can now run faster.

Getting through a difficult time

Last fall, Brooklyn started kindergarten. Many of her classmates started to ask questions about her limb differences, and she experienced some bullying on the playground.

Nicki didn’t expect this to happen this early in grade school, but realized it was an opportunity to share how Brooklyn is a normal kid. So, she wrote a book for Brooklyn titled, God Made Me Special, Just Like You!

“I wrote a book for my daughter to help her deal with bullies at school who didn’t understand that you don’t make fun of or tease someone who looks different than you do,” shares Nicki. “The book was made for her, but I decided to publish it so other kids in similar situations can realize that they aren’t alone.”

Brooklyn shared this book with her classmates, and showed that she can do many of the tasks her peers can do, such as zipping up her jacket and holding a stack of books. Brooklyn even revealed her sense of humor by showing of picture of herself dressed up as a peg-leg pirate.

Since then, Brooklyn reports school is fun, and is looking forward to first grade.

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