Red Dirt Diaries: Young Adaptive Athlete Inspires After Rare Surgery

Friday, June 23rd 2017, 7:24 pm
By: Karl Torp

An adaptive athlete from Jones is living an extraordinary life.

Isabelle Lawson, or Iz, 9, lost part of her leg about two years ago due to a very aggressive form of bone cancer.

“The only thing we were not honest about is she asked if she could die and we said no,” said Iz’s mom Desiree Lawson.

Iz has proven her mother right ever since.

“Basketball, softball, cheer and swimming” said Iz, about the sports she now plays with and without her prosthetic leg.

The fast recovery was due to a decision made shortly after the tumor in her leg bone was removed.

In a rare procedure called rotationplasty, doctors were able to reattach her left foot backwards.

“You worry how she is going to react and if she's going to be able to overcome,” said Desiree, who worries no more.

Iz joked that she tells little kids a shark ate her leg.

“They had to go into the shark’s stomach and get my foot and turn it around backwards,” joked Iz.

A backward ankle that works like a knee allows the soon to be 10-year-old to be a better athlete with prosthetic leg.

Iz is cancer free and is now working hard on her swimming at the Mitch Park YMCA. In her first swim meet ever, recently at the Endeavor Games, she won a gold and silver.

But the family agrees the unique surgery is about more than athleticism.

“Be a normal child,” added Iz, who hopes to one day compete in the Paralympic Games.

“She just has an unbelievable competitive heart,” said Desiree.