Lifestyle & Human Interest

20-Year-Old Born with No Limbs Becomes Dancer, Now Raises Money for Others' Medical Expenses


Several years ago, a man named Nick Vujicic came and spoke at the university I attended. Just looking at Vujicic’s various accomplishments, you can tell he’s an impressive guy.

He has written at least eight books. He travels worldwide, speaking to large audiences.

He has even appeared in a movie with Mexican heartthrob Eduardo Verástegui. And that’s made all the more impressive by the fact that Vujicic was born with tetra-amelia syndrome — meaning he doesn’t have any limbs.

Well, Vujicic isn’t the only person to achieve great things despite not having arms or legs. Meet Gabe Adams, a 20-year-old breakdancer who cuts a rug despite lacking feet.

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According to The Daily Mail, Adams born with a different genetic disease. Called Hanhart syndrome, it often causes jaw and limb deformities.

Adams’ mouth seemed to have developed just fine, but his arms and legs simply never grew. Born in Brazil, he was later adopted by a Utah family.

Even so, Adams often faced bullying because of his appearance.

“I was in the art class one time and our art teacher told us to critique our neighbour’s artwork,” he said. “This kid said to me: ‘It looks like God made a mistake on you.’ I went home that day and I was crushed. I couldn’t get that out of my head.

“A lot of times I used to cry about it and my mother had to pull me aside and she made me do this thing where every morning I had had to look at myself in the mirror and give myself ten compliments and go out into the world and give other people those compliments,” he continued.

Like many kids, he was looking for a way to fit in. So he decided to try out for his school’s dance team, even though such an activity seemed a bit of a stretch.

He remembered, “The day of the dance tryouts, they called us all in a line and they said, ‘Okay, dancer, remember to do full out extensions and point your toes.’ I thought: ‘What am I gonna point, my nose?’ …

“’I am just standing there in front of the judges, and then I see girls do the spins, and I am like, ‘I can do that.’ So I do the spins.”

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After he heard a rumor that the dance coach was planning to put him on stage in a wheelchair, Adams begged her to not pity him. Her response? “I would not put you or anybody else on the team because I felt sorry for them, you get a spot on this team because you deserved it.”

Adams eventually turned the spinning into a whirling, head-balancing form of freestyle breakdancing, and you what? It’s pretty impressive to watch.

Equally impressive is the fact that Adams moved out on his own after graduating high school. He learned how to do all sorts of daily niceties that we take for granted, including shampooing his hair, texting, and writing notes with a pencil.

Adams continues to hold benefit performances, raising money to help others to pay their medical bills. Like Vujicic, he has also started developing his public speaking skills, and loves to inspire others. “I think some of my proudest moments in my life would be learning how to walk, learning how to get myself dressed, going up and down the stairs, getting into my wheelchair, taking my own notes in school; graduating, taking second in dance competition and being a motivational speaker — being able to look back at all those moments and see how far I have come,” he told Metro.

“I think one of the common questions that I get would be, ‘Is your life hard? Do you wish you had limbs?’

“And I guess my response would be, ‘No my life isn’t hard.’ The one thing that I have taught myself, and others, is that life is only hard when you make it hard, and if I am gonna make it hard, then that is on me.

“But if I am going to make it easier, then it is going to be way easier to live. Do I ever wish I had limbs? Of course.

“But I know that I don’t have arms and legs for a reason, so I am just gonna live my life as I can.” Inspiring words from an inspiring young man.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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