Young Utah Amputee Determined to Keep Dancing

Life can change in an instant and it did for Alissa Siezemore when she was just seven and sustained a tragic injury – and it has again since her community rallied to purchase a special prosthesis that has the young dancer back in competitions.

In 2014 when the young Vernal, Utah grade schooler was playing with her sister, Cyley, and some friends, she ran past some trash cans and was struck by a UPS truck. Her lower limb could not be saved and Alissa had to have her right leg amputated below the knee.

While there are supports that help children adapt to artificial limbs, the traumatic incident was particularly challenging for Alissa because of her passion is dancing.

She told People magazine that dancing has been her favorite thing since she was a preschooler and she was determined that being an amputee wasn’t going to stop her from pursuing her passion.

Adjusting to prosthetics after a trauma takes specialized support, but one of the biggest hurdles for the Siezemore family was the cost of the new prosthetics technology that could keep Alissa dancing. When word got out that a high tech prosthesis was beyond the family’s budget, people in their Utah community rallied and were able to raise the necessary funds.

In 2015, at age eight, Alissa wowed the crowds at her school dance competition when she performed a beautifully-choreographed solo routine set to the song “Try” by singer Colbie Caillat. The lyrics include the words, “You don’t have to bend until you break / You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up” and the diminutive amputee’s movements were strong and steady.

The video of Alissa’s dance has gone viral, viewed over a million times and reported by news media around the world (like other stories of child amputees living big dreams). Her determination and ability are inspiring, especially when she removes her prosthesis to show she will keep dancing with or without her artificial limb.

And consider that this little dancer performed her routine – complete with a cartwheel – not even a year after losing her lower limb! Determination goes a long way in healing and adapting to life with a prosthesis!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012 there were 76,000 pedestrians injured in traffic accidents, which translates to a pedestrian injury every seven minutes.

Since 1955, Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics has been offering expert prosthetic services in Michigan. We have more than 20 locations including Traverse City, Petoskey, and Grand Rapids; and we work with our clients to make purchasing a prosthesis affordable. Teter accepts a number of health insurance plans and also offers an extended payment plan.

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