With the help of generous strangers, a little girl’s one dream became a reality -- the ability to run.
Texas resident, Miranda Todd, adopted her daughter Ellie, now 4, when she was 15 months old shortly after undergoing surgery that amputated both of her legs up to her knees, Today reports.
Ellie suffers from tibial aplasia ectrodactyly -- a genetic condition that caused a large bone in her lower leg to never form. After trying out many prosthetic legs, none of them gave Ellie the ability to run -- which is her ultimate goal.
"The hospital that provides her prosthetics said they don't do running legs for kids until at least age 7, because they are too hard to balance in and little kids 'can't do it,'" said Todd to Today. "I was pretty sure she could — and I was right."
Ellie was finally able to try out a pair of prosthetic running legs in the spring, but in order to get her own pair it would cost Miranda $20,000 per leg.
Social media came to the rescue when Miranda stumbled upon a charity event called Love Flash Mob -- which raises funds to help women and children through a non-profit organization, Together Rising, Today reports. She found the event through her online community called Momastery, created by Glennon Doyle Melton, an author.
"When I saw a piece on Momastery asking people to write in about their 'sheroes' — the women they admire — I wrote about Ellie, although I wasn't sure if it was meant to be just adults," Todd told Today. "I was actually floored when they contacted me. ... They asked how they could help Ellie and I told them I had been hoping to get her some running legs."
Melton saw Miranda’s story, and informed Momastery users on a post that a prosthetic manufacturer of running legs, the Hanger Clinic, decided to work with Together Rising to help raise money for Ellie’s legs.
"They want to help her too," Melton wrote in the post. "If we raise half the money for the legs, they will match it and Ellie will have her legs PRONTO. I cannot handle talking about this. Let's do it. Let's DO IT."
Readers raised the money needed in just 24 hours, with donations limited to only $25 per person.
"When she put on the finished product, Ellie was thrilled," Todd told Today. "She loves to bounce in them — we call them her bouncy shoes — and she took off running in the hallway right away and literally laughed the whole time."
Melton posted a video to Momastery’s Facebook page this week which shows Ellie running in her new legs.
Read more at today.com
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