Sue Kent was born with short limbs as a result of her mother taking Thalidomide during pregnancy. But that didn't stop her from pursuing a career in massage therapy and her dream of being a part of the Paralympic games, the 49-year-old mother of two told the Daily Mail.
Now, after three years of practicing massage therapy with her strong feet, Kent has been named an official masseuse for the British team as they prepare and compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games.
"It was a personal goal I'd had as I'd wanted to see if I could be involved in sport in some way at a high level," Kent told the Mail. "For the guys at the Paralympics to be doing what they're doing is phenomenal. I can't wait to be part of it."
Kent was born with eight-inch arms and seven fingers after her mother took Thalidomide during pregnancy, a drug doctors believed would help with morning sickness but ended up causing birth defects in more than 10,000 babies, according to the Independent.
Kent had taken up a number of physical activities over the years including swimming, ballet and horseback riding. But she told the BBC that when she entered the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff to earn her qualification in sports massage, some instructors expressed doubt she would able to treat athletes only using her feet.
In a podcast with the BBC, Kent described some of her techniques and noted that she is particularly good at massaging the buttock and gluteal muscles.
"Because I've got such strength in my legs and my body weight but like for men who want a really firm massage or like the buttock muscles, gluteal muscles, they really require quite a lot of work," Kent said in the podcast. "So with me it's, you know, it doesn't take too much effort for me to really get in those muscles and sort them out."
Kent told the BBC she plans to help the Mumbles Rowing Club cross the Irish Sea next May as part of the Celtic Challenge before returning to England to prepare for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where athletes compete in over 20 sports including archery, sailing, swimming, powerlifting and table tennis.