Girl born without hands wins cursive handwriting contest

Friday, May 11, 2018

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- Continuing to defy the odds. That's what a 9-year-old student from Chesapeake, Va., is doing through the stroke of her pencil.

"I'll be able to do it if I try," said Anaya Ellick said.

Teachers at Greenbrier Christian Academy said Anaya will admit that she's pretty quiet and shy.

But Sara Cannaday, who teaches third grade, said, "Anaya is a role model to everyone."

You see, Anaya was born without hands. However, Wednesday morning she received a national award for her cursive handwriting.

"It wasn't really hard," she told News 3.

But she did tell us her mom helped.

"She would help me form the letter," Anaya said.

She entered the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest under a special needs category.

The third grader doesn't use prosthesis and has learned to hold a pencil between her two arms to write and draw.

"I'm proud because it encourages her, for her to see that hard word does pay off," said Bianca Middleton, Anaya's mother.

You might remember her from when she won the award for her print writing in 2016.

"I was happy. I thought my mom was joking when she said I won again," the third grader said.

Anaya's parents said she hasn't let her situation stop her from anything.

"She's really independent, from tying shoes, putting clothes, getting baths," said Gary Ellick, Anaya's father. "It was always like 'I can do it'. So, that just carried on over the years."

Anaya said sports might be the next thing she tackles.

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