By Giacomo Brunelli @giacomobrunelli

A SPORTY 12-year-old who was born with no arms hasn’t let her disability stop her from playing soccer, doing karate, dance and even baseball

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Videographer / director: Istvan Lettang

Producer: Giacomo Brunelli, Ruby Coote

Editor: Alex Lubetkin

 

Zoe Bosanic was born with a condition called Bilateral Upper Extremity Amelia, which meant she was born with no right arm and her left arm ending in a nub above her elbow.

Born in China, she was adopted as a toddler by Brian and Karrie from DeWitt in Michigan, USA.

The Bosanic family, who had already adopted one of their two children, wasn’t planning on adopting more, but once Karrie saw Zoe’s photo she immediately fell in love.

“I saw Zoe’s picture and I just fell in love with her and I started writing letters that night to the adoption agency,” Karrie explained.

From helping her mom in the kitchen to brushing her hair, there are hardly any limits to what Zoe can achieve without arms.

Her father Brian told BTV: “It humbles you to watch her do things that you sit there, and you don’t know how she’s going to do it, but she finds a way to do it.”

Due to her condition, she initially even struggled to stand up.

“When we first brought her home, she was falling a lot because she didn’t have good balance,” said Karrie.

Nowadays Zoe is practicing four sports and competing in three of them.

“I play four sports: karate, dance, baseball and soccer and I play three sports competitively: karate, dance and soccer,” explained Zoe.

Her mother still remembers the first day she ever tried playing baseball:

“The first day that she played, there were a lot of people in the audience that were teary-eyed watching her play. She was so little and just so amazing.”

Currently, Zoe’s favourite sport is karate:

“My favourite is karate because I like kicking and I’m good at it”.

Her siblings say she always had the drive to achieve whatever she wanted to.

“She’s definitely got the personality type to be so good at everything she does. I won’t lie, it makes me jealous a little bit because she’s amazing at sports that I can’t even do,” her sister Taylor admitted.

  

Unfortunately, when Zoe is out in public she often gets stared at.

“Just walking around I’ll notice people are staring or pointing. We’ve even had people just like come up and touch her, it’s strange,” Taylor explained.

“If we go to the grocery store, there’s inevitably one little kid who’s in the store in there’re shopping cart and they point and say ‘Mom look at that little girl she doesn’t have any arms’,” Karrie said.

The family remembers one particularly upsetting event that happened in a restaurant.

“This girl was filming Zoe eating - I did stand up for her because I really don’t think that’s appropriate, filming anyone without their consent,” Taylor explained.

Although Zoe is very independent, she does receive some help from her specially trained dog Mochi.

“Mochi helps me at school by carrying stuff and bringing stuff to me. And at home Mochi helps me with getting stuff out of the fridge and getting papers for me,” Zoe said.


When asked about Zoe’s future, her parents don’t see any limits to what she can achieve:

“She can do pretty much anything she wants; I don’t see anything really holding her back. Whatever she wants to do, she sets her mind to it she’ll find a way to do it and be successful at it” Brian said.

“Not a day goes by when I’m not super proud of her” said her sister Taylor