MPW.64 / Troy Taking Life in Stride by Gary Rhodes
Photographer
Gary Rhodes Abilene, Texas
Team Mac

Story Summary

Born with a vascular malformation in her left leg that caused her great pain and would ultimately destroy the cartilage in her knee, 14-year-old Katie Ladlie spent much of her life using crutches to get around and eventually ended up spending her seventh-grade school year in a wheelchair. Her doctors gave her two options: fuse the knee joint or amputate a portion of her leg. Choosing amputation, Katie was fitted with a prosthetic limb that includes a titanium joint that mimics the natural movement of the knee in June 2011. A little over a year later, Katie doesn’t let much slow her down. She participates in Future Farmers of America, competitive swimming and just about anything else that interests her. The staff at the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, where she goes for continuing adjustment of her prosthetic leg, asked Katie to become a patient ambassador earlier this year. As an ambassador, she speaks to civic groups and thanks the companies and organizations whose employees have volunteered or donated money to the hospital. Often seen wearing shirts with sayings such as “Dude, where’s my leg?” and “$10 for leg story,” Katie’s sense of humor keeps her upbeat and looking forward to her future.