Some people might consider wearing a prosthetic a setback, but to Lily Moore it’s just a part of who she is.
“I’ve had it for so long now that when people ask if I could have my foot back, I say no,” Moore said. “The thought of having another foot is weird to me. I mean, I can’t remember what that would feel like.”
Now 18, Moore was 2 years old when a broken leg led to the diagnosis of a rare genetic disorder and the eventual amputation of her left foot.
“I was born with a condition called neurofibromatosis,” the 12th-grader said. “We didn’t know I had it until I actually broke my leg. My parents originally thought it was just a regular break, but when the doctors removed the cast my leg broke again. I ended up having my left foot amputated that same year.”
Moore has some memory of what happened, but not much. Her grandmother filled in the details later.
“She said she told my mom not to cry because I would react to that,” Moore said. “She didn’t want me to be scared.”
Before the surgery, doctors assured Moore’s mother that if her little girl’s foot had to be amputated, then she would be doing everything other kids would by the time she was 5. Moore said that’s been true her whole life.
“My personal belief is that this has not limited me at all,” she said. “I’ve been able to participate in anything I’ve ever wanted. I was in cheer and dance in elementary school. I also played volleyball in middle school.”
In high school, Moore has traded sports for music. The first soprano’s favorite class is choir, and she also enjoys history. In her spare time, the future cosmetologist enjoys fixing her friends’ and family members’ hair. None of her opportunities are limited by her circumstances.
“My situation has always motivated me to do what most people would say is impossible,” she said. “As soon as someone would say ‘she can’t do that because of her leg’ or ‘don’t ask her to do that, she can’t,’ it just motivated me to want to accomplish it more.”
Moore, whose prosthetic attaches to her left knee with straps and fits her size 7 shoes, walks with a slight limp. She said she’s not bothered by what might be obvious to others.
“If most people are gonna notice it’s there anyway, then why would I stop myself from doing something that an ordinary person would? I don’t really find myself different from other people,” she said. “It’s more of an obstacle rather than a disability.”
Destiny Shown, a close friend since they were in the first grade, knows how strong-willed and determined Moore is.
“I just see her as a normal girl, just trying to live life to the fullest,” Shown said. “I’m proud of her because most people would have given up in her situation, and she still remained positive.”