Despite her carefree smile, life hasn’t always been easy for Jessica Quinn.
At the age of 9, the young New Zealander lost her leg after an extremely difficult battle with bone cancer. “I’ve never considered my cancer story any different but I am starting to realize how my outlook on life can help,” Quinn said. “People thrive on the real stories.”
Now 23, the aspiring model has been sharing her journey on Instagram with her 58,000 (and counting) followers, hoping to inspire others to stay strong no matter what life throws at them.
Upon reaching 50,000 followers on Instagram, Quinn wrote that “it’s not about reaching a number of ‘followers,’ it’s about reaching out to as many people as possible and using my adversity to try inspire.
”I want to reach out, not just people with disabilities but also anyone living with insecurities,” she says. “That’s my goal, to help everyone from young and old to male or female. I don’t want to put myself in a category.”
Jessica's story so far
“The picture above is the lowest point of my life so far, it was Christmas 2001 just after my surgery. The mountains of presents around me didn’t phase me, which as a 9 year old is unheard of. I could hardly lift my 18kg body weight up, I had ulcers lining my mouth, I was living on a cocktail of chemo sprinkled with painkillers & I couldn’t see how things could ever get better. I was having a final few rounds of chemo to rid my body of the nasty disease that crumbled my world.
These final rounds nearly killed me. Up until this point, everyone always told me things were going to be ok but at this time, people were starting to sound less convincing. I wish I could go back and tell that innocent girl that everything was going to be ok, she’d never have believed things would turn out as they have.
This photos symbolises so much for me, reminds me how close I was to being pulled away, just how lucky I am to have a second chance at this crazy thing we call life but more importantly how lucky I am for my parents, always smiling even when there’s so much darkness around. They are 100% the reason I am here today. A smile, a positive attitude & love can go a really long way. Keep fighting. Be brave. Be strong. Be limbitless.”