Matt Jackson

Courageous Kids: Gabby Sanchez

Inside Next Step Dance Studio in Frisco, young girls are practicing their dance routines. Gabby Sanchez is one of them. She is your typical 11-year-old. She likes to craft and hang out with her friends. Her mom and dad say Gabby is not shy.

"She loves to be around people and she loves to be social," said her mom Carey Farmer.

Her dad, Jimmy Sanchez, agreed saying "pretty much anywhere she goes whether it is school or dance it's social hour for her."

Gabby's passion right now is dancing, but it doesn't come easy for her. She has microtia in her left ear so she can't hear out of that ear. It is a struggle, she says, to sometimes to hear music.

Gabby was born with a deformed left ear. But if you were to take a look at her you wouldn't know, all thanks to 3-D printing technology. A 3-D print was made of her right ear and molded into her left ear and then covered by skin. "It's actually stitched or sewed on to me," said Gabby.

The idea of a 3-D ear made her nervous at first. She said she didn't know what was going to happen. But Gabby says she thought it through and "I really like my ear now."

She sees herself now as an advocate for microtia, allowing people to see and feel her ear. "It doesn't move any other way," Gabby said, "so they can't really take it off or anything."

As a Courageous Kid Gabby continues to dance despite her difficulties. A feat that amazes her teachers and parents.

Her dad says, "anytime you have a child that has a disability and we see their progress and their discipline and their training and their desire that's just always special and means a lot us."

Mom says her daughter has a huge heart and watching her do what she does makes her feel very proud.

Gabby remains focused on dancing and showing the world being different is okay. "Every kid is unique in their way," Gabby says. "Some people have glasses. Some people have ear disabilities. You shouldn't have to hide anything."

And there is no hiding the determined spirit of this Courageous Kid.

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