Jessica Quinn

Despite her carefree smile, life hasn’t always been easy for Jessica Quinn.

At the age of 9, the young New Zealander lost her leg after an extremely difficult battle with bone cancer. “I never thought of my cancer story as different, but I’m starting to understand how my perspective on life can help,” Quinn said. “People thrive on true stories.”

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Now 23, the aspiring model has shared her journey on Instagram with her 58,000 (and counting) followers, hoping to inspire others to stay strong no matter what life throws at them.

After reaching 50,000 followers on Instagram, Quinn wrote: “It’s not about reaching a certain number of ‘followers’, it’s about reaching as many people as possible and using my adversity to try to inspire.

“I want to help not only disabled people, but also all people who live in insecurity,” she explains. “That’s my goal, to help everyone, from young people to old people, from men to women. I don’t want to put myself in a category.”

Jessica’s Story So Far

“The photo above shows the lowest point of my life so far, it was Christmas 2001, just after my operation. The mountains of presents around me didn’t bother me, which is unheard of at 9 years old. I was struggling to lift my 40lbs, had ulcers in my mouth, was living on a cocktail of chemotherapy sprinkled with painkillers and couldn’t see how things were going to get better. I was down to the last few rounds of chemotherapy to rid my body of the nasty disease that had destroyed my world.

Those last few rounds almost killed me. Up until that point, everyone had always told me that everything would be okay, but by that point, people were starting to be less convincing. I wish I could go back and tell that innocent girl that everything would be okay, she never would have believed things would turn out the way they did.
These pictures mean so much to me, they remind me of how close I was to being taken away, how lucky I am to have a second chance at this crazy thing we call life, but most of all how lucky I am to have my parents, always smiling even when there is so much darkness around. They are 100% the reason I am here today. A smile, a positive attitude and love can go a long way. Keep fighting. Be brave. Be strong. Don’t limit yourself.”