Sophie's story is unusual but she's not looking for anyone's sympathy. She was diagnosed with cancer when she was only 9 years old. For a year she struggled with cancer and after many surgeries and treatments, the doctors were able to save her leg. After believing that cancer was behind her, at the age of 13, cancer returned even more aggressively, and this time despite all efforts, Sophie's leg needed to be amputated. At that moment, at the age of 14, a new and challenging life began. "I had to deal with my new body and somehow find a way to get back to the normal life of a child my age. Going to school, going for walks, meeting friends, going to classes" Sophie says "It was not easy, I was very motivated and did not give myself the option of not reaching my goals. I wanted to continue with my life and get back to my routine." It has been 15 years since the amputation. Sophie holds a bachelor's degree in physics and computer science and is currently a software developer, she married her soulmate and is expecting their firstborn son.
- How does a 14-year-old girl cope with such a thing?
"Amputation has undoubtedly changed the way I think and the way I live but life goes on, with a lot of optimism, and with the right people surrounding and enveloping me with lots of love."
"With a healthy diet and lots of sports all of which have become a significant part of my life. I realized early on that to be able to lead a life that is as active, healthy, and sane as possible I have no choice but to keep fit and feel good about myself."
"I continue to do what I've always done. Sports and exercise are completely part of my routine, it helps me maintain an active and normal lifestyle. During my pregnancy, I had to stop surfing but I continue to do Pilates for example and prenatal yoga"
"Yes, there were concerns. First of all, I did a test to make sure the cancer is not genetic and my main concern was how physically demanding my pregnancy would be for me because of my situation. It is, of course, exciting and special and it's just a It's a miracle that my body survived 3 chemotherapies and some how still manages to make a life."
"Anxiety always exists in being a mother. I think everyone wants the best for their child, to be a good mother, to educate properly, but my main fear is how will I handle it physically. Would I be able to run after him? What about school trips, would I be able to participate? "Could I trust myself with a child at the beach or the pool? But I try to deal rationally with any difficulty during this time and not worry too much. I am optimistic and believe that together with my husband we will overcome any obstacles and deal with them as they come."
"A normal prosthesis that you get is generally not waterproof. The truth is that I currently also have a prosthesis for water, but this is not as trivial as it may sound. It is not as stable as the everyday one. There are quite a few physical challenges during pregnancy for a disabled woman, and I was surprised to find that there is not much awareness on the subject or much information available on how to adjust the prosthesis for pregnant women."
Sophie laughs "Bread and pastries! I try to continue to maintain a healthy diet but I don't deprive myself. I just eat more hah! I eat more and have already gained 11 pounds."
- That’s it, a total of 11 pounds!?
"For you ... it's true that gaining weight makes sense and is natural but for me it's problematic. That's one of the reasons sports are such a part of my daily routine for longevity. As soon as I gain weight the prosthesis becomes too small and there is a terrible feeling of discomfort. The truth is I just got measured for a larger prosthesis and once that prosthesis no longer fits I will probably have to temporarily switch to a wheelchair. Pregnancy puts a strain on my healthy leg, which is why I use crutches now and again."
"I like fashion! At the end of the day, I live the normal life of a 29-year-old woman who loves sports, entertainment, and of course dressing in style! Obviously! As soon as I got pregnant I already started peeking at the breathtaking collection of ‘Avishag Arbel’. The truth is that I knew Avishag from before I was pregnant, I have 2 girlfriends that when they got pregnant, straight away I bought them gifts from Avishag Arbel."
"Yes. I prefer wide clothes or at least not tight at the waist and legs because it emphasizes the prosthesis. Besides, I like dresses, and skirts and my whole wardrobe is colorful! Do you know what's hard for me to find?"
"Shoes. It's hard to find a shoe that will be comfortable with the prosthesis."
"It's fun to celebrate pregnancy, with a lot of styles, to feel feminine and strong, and that despite the difficulties life is beautiful. I'm happy to take part in raising awareness of amputees and celebrating the imperfect beauty because no one is perfect."
Photographer: Tal Hamdi, Makeup & Hair: Lee Bachar
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