Here I am with my Mom and Dad, Rikki and Steve

My name is Sydney Elizabeth and I was born in 1999 in Cody, Wyoming. (I was a good girl and waited until my Dad got done golfing!)

My family thought I was the prettiest baby they’d ever seen with my daddy’s dimples and a nice round head! One of the first things they noticed was that my right foot was turned out pretty badly and only had 4 toes. At first the doctor thought maybe the foot was in a strange position when I was inside my mom, so we waited to see if it would straighten out. When it didn’t, the doctors x-rayed my foot and leg and discovered that I was missing the fibula bone. After a quick anatomy lesson, my parents learned that the fibula is the bone that stabilizes the outside of the ankle, so that’s why my foot kept turning out. The next day, when I was just one day old, I got my first cast to see if it would help move the foot back to where it was supposed to go.

Since we live in a small Wyoming town, the doctors here had never seen a baby with a foot like mine before. So right away, my pediatrician and orthopedic surgeon referred us to the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT, and when I was just 10 days old I got to go on an airplane for the first time! We thought the Shriners hospital was a very cool place and everyone was so nice! My doctor told my parents that there were a couple of options, and reminded them that no matter what…I was a very healthy, beautiful girl who would be just fine!! So my mom and dad decided to wait a little while before making a decision. That way they could learn how to be parents for the first time and enjoy every moment with me. Luckily in the meantime, my mom found the I-CAN site where there was a lot of support and information for us!

On August 30, 2000, after a lot of soul-searching and with the help of other I-CAN parents and several opinions from doctors, my parents decided it would be best for me if I had my little foot amputated and learned to walk with a prosthetic foot. And guess what?? That’s exactly what I’m doing right now! The surgery went really well, even though it was kind of hard on my family. But I healed up very quickly and hardly skipped a beat. Now I can RUN and play with the big kids and there is no looking back! As you can see, I’m a very happy girl!

My mommy and daddy are grateful for the information and reassurance they’ve received through the I-CAN website. They love me so much just the way I am and believe that God made me this way for a special purpose. They would like to use what they’ve learned from ME to help other parents who are faced with making decisions regarding limb differences…just like they were helped so much by the wonderful I-CAN family.