Patience Beard cheered, danced, and tumbled her way onto a Division 1 cheerleading squad -- hardly an easy feat. And she did it all on a prosthetic leg.
Patience was born with Proximal Focal Femoral Deficiency, which stunted the development of her left femur bone. Her left leg was amputated when she was less than a year old. She cites her parents' encouragement as the source of her unshakeable confidence and no-excuses attitude; she began gymnastics lessons at age four and joined her first cheerleading squad in seventh grade.
The University of Arkansas freshman impressed Jean Nail, the school's Spirit Coordinator, and was offered a spot on the squad. "Patience is highly energetic, extremely hard-working, and very talented," Nail told MSNBC. "Sometimes, when you see Patience, she just gives you that extra edge to try it one more time."
Her new role as a Razorbacks cheerleader has been a lifelong goal for Patience. "I've always dreamed of this," she said, "but never thought I'd be here doing what I've always wanted to do."
Fourteen-year-old cheerleader Jessica McCartney also recently made headlines for thriving on her squad despite living with autism.
"She has to keep her grades up and she's in regular classes with everybody else," her mother said to ABC. "She's been doing exceptionally well, and I'm very proud of her."
Another athlete, 14-year-old pitcher Coleman Shannon, inspired his team earlier this year when he pitched a no-hitter with one arm during his Little League game.
How have you overcome obstacles? Do you know any incredible athletes like Patience? Let us know in the comments below or tweet @HuffPostTeen!
CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, Patience Beard's name was misspelled. We regret the error.
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