Recently, she was granted a gift by one of her inspiration and she’s hoping to be that for others.
Lydia Stalaboin, 15, is training to run. The Toll Gate High School sophomore was born with a rare congenital vascular disorder.
At age 11, because of the pain in her leg, she made the tough decision to amputate it.
“It was something I decided I needed to do, things have been better for me since then,” said Stalaboin.
Even still, she’s carried on her life to the best of her ability.
She is an outstanding gymnast and donates a lot of her time volunteering for organizations, including “Children’s Wishes.” She also plays volleyball with one of Providence College’s programs.
“I was like, ‘I want to try something different,’ you know?” said Stalaboin. “I was like running, running track.”
“My mom was a runner actually and she was amazing at it and I really wanted to run with her sometime,” she added. “I always wanted to run but I couldn’t.”
Stalaboin has three prosthetic legs that she rotates between.
Last year, she applied for a “blade runner” through the Heather Abbott Foundation.
Abbott, who is a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing, had one of her legs amputated as a result. She’s one of Stalaboin’s idols who’s from nearby Newport, Rhode Island.
“Running was like a big milestone. I really wanted to do it, so it made me push harder to get the blade,” she said. “When I found out I was the recipient, I was literally so excited and I could not wait to run and I got fitted for it a few months ago, and actually got this about three weeks ago.”
The carbon fiber crafted prostheses would’ve cost about $50,000. It is not covered under Stalaboin’s insurance. It’s also a boost of confidence.
Stalaboin recently had a photo shoot with South Kingstown photographer Jerilyn Faciano of “JL Photography”.
“Taking those photos felt amazing, you know? And I felt accepted and stuff like that,” said Stalaboin. “I never really had a real photo shoot done and I was like, ‘This is a great opportunity and I have the blade, so why not show it?'”
Stalaboin is going to school for cosmetology but said she’s eager to join her high school’s track team, which made the blade runner extra important.
“I’m trying to do it so I can push harder and overcome my fears,” she said. “And I want to show that to other people.”