Farragut teen gives back to amputee camp that changed her life

Farragut teen gives back to amputee camp that changed her life

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"I was born with PFFD, proximal femoral focal deficiency. That's a really long and obnoxious way of saying I was born without 90 percent of my femur," Sierra Younger explained. "I was born with PFFD, proximal femoral focal deficiency. That's a really long and obnoxious way of saying I was born without 90 percent of my femur," Sierra Younger explained.
By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter 

FARRAGUT (WATE) - A Farragut teen is talking about the summer camp that changed her life. It's put on by the Amputee Coalition, a national non-profit that started in Knoxville.

Sierra Younger stands out on the golf course for her swing, but for much of her life, she just wanted to be like everybody else.

"I was born with PFFD, proximal femoral focal deficiency. That's a really long and obnoxious way of saying I was born without 90 percent of my femur," she explained.

When she was 4 years old, Sierra's parents decided a unique surgery was the best option for her future.

"They broke my bones and they turned it around so that my ankle would substitute as my knee," she said.

That made it easier for her to use a prosthetic leg, but didn't stop the bullying.

"Everybody would tease me. They started names, like peg leg, IHOP, and Peggy. It was just awful," she said.

The hurt turned to anger.

"I was really angry with everybody and God and everything for making me this way," she said.

Then, at 13, Sierra attended the Amputee Coalition's youth camp in Ohio, where we visited in 2011, and everything changed.

Previous story: East Tennessee kids gets many benefits from amputee camp in Ohio

"It was a really different experience just walking into a room and having people stare at your face and not your leg," she said

Her parents were shocked by the daughter who came home.

"The night and day difference. 180 degrees. It was refreshing to see her smile and be excited. So many stories, it was life changing," said Erik and Shelley Younger.

After graduating from Farragut High School in May, where she was on the swim team, Sierra is now too old to be a camper. So this summer, she'll be a camp intern. Next year, she hopes to be a counselor.

"I want to to to this camp as long as they will let me," she said.

And what will she tell any campers who remind her of the old Sierra?

"Everything happens for a reason. You are this way for a reason. There is a bigger plan for you," she said.

The Amputee Coalition raises money each year so that more than 100 kids from around the country can attend camp for free.

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