Meet Move For Jenn Grant Recipient, Natasha
Meet one of our newest grant recipients, Natasha!
Natasha is a 17-year-old from Houston, Texas, who found her way to Move For Jenn by way of our friends at Levitate.
Natasha was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 at just two years old upon finding brown spots on her skin, often called "cafe-au-lait." Soon after, she started chemotherapy due to optic glioma (slow-growing brain tumor that arises in or around the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain) that was found in both of her eyes.
After 18 months, Natasha went into remission. However, in the summer of 2014 Natasha complained of pain in her left glute. Her biopsy exam revealed a tumor on her sciatic nerve. After surgery, Natasha had to endure eight weeks of radiation.
Natasha was fitted for a foot brace due to the foot drop that was caused by the removal of the sciatic nerve during surgery. She started physical therapy and just six months later started to complain of severe knee pain. She was rushed to Texas Children's Hospital where they found a tumor in her knee growing at an alarming rate. Natasha and her parents were told that the best option was an above the knee amputation in order to stop the tumor from spreading to her organs.
Eight weeks post-op, Natasha met with an amputee specialist named Dr. Melton, who referred Natasha to a prosthetic specialist in order to receive her very first prosthetic. While her prosthetic covers day to day activities, she is not able to be active in the way that she would like.
After attending a Levitate clinic, Natasha fell in love with all she was able to do! She said, "I want to run and enjoy other running activities with friends and family. When I went to the Levitate running clinic, I had lots of fun and it felt really good to run."
We can't wait to see Natasha take on the world with her new Levitate blade!