One-legged gymnast overcomes odds after cancer

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Friday, March 11, 2016
Kate Foster lost her leg to a leukemia-related infection when she was 12, but she didn't allow the loss to keep her from being a gymnast.
Courtesy of Lynn Foster

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WLS) -- A teen who lost her leg to cancer at age 12 isn't letting her handicap keep her from becoming a competitive gymnast.

Kate Foster, a 16-year-old from Rockford, Ill., started tumbling at age 7, and hasn't stopped since.

"I've never really found anything that I've loved more," Foster, now 16, told ABC News.

Kate lost her leg to a leukemia-related infection when she was 12, but continued her gymnastics with the help of a prosthetic.

Still, she wasn't excited by the diagnosis at the time.

"I said 'You're not -- you're not taking off my leg. I need that ... for gymnastics,'" she recalls telling her doctors. "And they were kind of explaining to me, you know, 'you know, this bone marrow transplant won't work unless we do this. It's really your leg or your life."

Kate continued training with her team, and is held to the same standards as her peers.

Her father, Lynn Foster, is proud of his daughter's strength in the face of adversity.

"They don't change the rules for her ... they're not saying, 'Okay, you don't have to do this part of it or you don't have to do that part,'" he said.

Regardless, Kate says she's no hero, despite public oupouring of support.

"People tell me all the time that I'm an inspiration, but I'm just me."