By Samantha Grillo @_samanthagrillo

INSPIRATIONAL Kanya Sesser was born without legs but has used her hands as feet to become a successful athlete and skateboarder

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Videographer / Director: Patrick Fallon
Producer: Dan Howlett, Chloe Browne
Editor: Sonia Estal, Ian Phillips

Abandoned: Kanya was left to the care of a monastery by her biological parents in her native Thailand
Holy life: She was raised by monks until she was adopted at the age of five

The 23-year-old uses a skateboard instead of a wheelchair to get around her native Venice Beach in LA and enjoys playing basketball, surfing and skiing.

Kanya is also a attempting to break into the competitive world of lingerie modelling and has so far posed for magazines and photographer friends.

Big ambitions: Kanya hopes to compete at the next Winter Paralympics on a mono-ski

Kanya was born in Thailand but was abandoned by her biological parents and placed into the care of Buddhist monks when she was just a few weeks old.

Aged five she was adopted by Jane Sesser, 56, and Dave Sesser, 57, from Oregon, USA who saw her picture in an international adoption magazine.

Sport star: She is also a keen wheelchair basketball player

Kanya said: “My parents flew to Thailand to come get me and wanted to give me the best life they could.”

By age nine, she was an accomplished surfer and skateboarder and has been competing in extreme sport events ever since. 

She said: “People are always shocked when they see me pulling tricks on my skateboard.

Raising a child: Kanya's adoptive parents Dave and Jane Sesser

“They are also surprised when I say I’m a model, but that doesn’t bother me - I was born this way and I’ve never let it hold me back.

“Some people say I’ve overcome a lot but I never see it like that - for a long time I thought it was normal to have no legs and it’s never bothered me.

Early start: She took up surfing and skating at 9 and has been addicted since

“I’ve never really been bullied but I’m sure people talk behind my back. I don’t really make time for people like that - you’ve got to keep positive.”

Along with tearing up the skatepark, Kanya is also an accomplished track star who narrowly missed out on a place in the USA Paralympic team for London 2012.

“I just love to go fast,” Kanya said.

Looking good: Kanya is hoping for a career in modelling

“I was the third fastest woman in the world in 2011 for the 100 and 200 metre race.

“For the Paralympics I tried out for the 100, 200, and 400 metre races but narrowly missed out on a place.

“I just go with the flow - I’ve never really considered my life challenging because I’ve never had a different one to compare to.

Need for speed: Kanya says she is addicted to going fast

“I just do what I do each day and stay positive.”

Kanya started modeling at 17 when an agent and sports photographer approached her while she was playing basketball.

Kanya said: “I hadn’t thought about modelling but it was the ideal way to show I wasn’t ashamed of my body.

Hanging out: Kanya regularly meets her friends at Venice Beach skatepark in LA

“I wore a blue bikini and got loads of compliments - and a year later I did my first lingerie shoot.

“I wore a black bra and shorts and wasn’t nervous about stripping off - I’m very comfortable with my looks.

No fear: Inspirational Kanya wants to show that disabilities do not need to hold you back

“I keep fit and eat healthily, and modelling lingerie and bikinis makes me feel sexy - I get lots of attention from guys and have a good sex life. 

“My goal is to show people that disabilities don’t have to hold you back.”