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Losing a Leg Taught Snowboarder Brenna Huckaby to Appreciate Her Body for What It Can Do

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Photo: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Para snowboarder Brenna Huckaby had a wake-up call about her body image after losing her leg to cancer at 14. Now she hopes to instill body positivity in her 17-month-old daughter Lilah from a young age. In a cover interview with Parents, Huckaby shared that the experience made her go from valuing her body's looks to its abilities. (Related: Hilary Duff Wants You to Love Your Body for What It Does, Not How It Looks)

"I struggled with body image as a teen," she told Parents, "and it took losing my leg to realize that my body is so much more than something to look at. I will do everything to teach this to my daughter. A year of struggling—with balance, muscle, my gait—to learn to walk again made me see that my legs weren't there to be beautiful but to get me from place to place. You feel so much stronger when you look at it that way." (Related: This Mom Came to the Best Realization After Trying On Bikinis with Her Daughter)

Sometimes it takes a lifetime of experience, or as in Huckaby's case a major life change, to finally be able to love your body. Huckaby was a nationally ranked gymnast when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which eventually took her leg. Instead of assuming she was no longer cut out to be an athlete, she took on snowboarding and became a world champion, gaining a new appreciation for her body's strength in the process. Now she's hoping to compete in the 2018 Paralympics. (Side note: Nike just revealed what Team USA will be wearing when they collect their medals.)

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