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No Limits for Teen Without Limbs - featured May 7, 2010

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Dancer Kiera Brinkley survived bacterial infection at age 2

[Source: MSNBC.com and the Associated Press] - PORTLAND, Ore. - Kiera Brinkley doesn't mind curious children, and mostly brushes off the stares of adults.

Every once in awhile, someone will ask the 16-year-old about what happened to her legs and arms. She'll explain: doctors had to amputate them or a bacterial infection that raged in her blood would have killed her. She was two at the time.

Sometimes, she'll get a rude stare or a harsh question and her normally sunny mood shifts.

"I got in a fight with a shark," she'll flash back.

She doesn't let it get her down. She roams the halls of a Portland high school in a wheelchair, chatting with friends or taking in a hug or two. At home, she cares for her two sisters and a little brother, and makes them dinner.

Through it all, Kiera dances, a lot, in the living room with her mother as her audience, in a practice studio at New York's renowned Juilliard School and on stage with her high school classmates wildly cheering.

When she sways, she's no longer the girl in the wheelchair, the one with the missing limbs.

"It lets people see the real me," she says.

Watching her, it makes you wonder how a little girl who lost her arms and legs at an age when most children are still getting used to their bodies grew into a young woman — and dancer — who believes there are no limits, just hurdles.

Read the Rest of this Inspirational Story on MSNBC.com

Tags: News of the Week Newsletter PT 7 May 2010