Local News

Jul 31, 2010 12:23 AM by Danielle Lerner

Local teen inspiring others at the Mid-State Fair

Day ten of the California Mid-State Fair is wrapping up Friday night and that is bittersweet for many of the students taking part in this year's events.

However for one local 17-year-old girl this year's fair has been about much more than pageant crowns and 4-H ribbons.

It is about overcoming obstacles and inspiring others to do the same.

She is a Mid-State Fair princess and an All Star in 4-H.

The 17 year old sold her heffer at auction Friday after nine months of hard work.

"It's cute because you get to see the babies and you get to sell them to people that you're really good friends with," said Emily Von Dollen.

She has done it all without her right hand.

It was amputated back in February after doctors found a Sarcoma tumor, one of the rarest forms of cancer in the country.

"After you have something amputated you feel like you're malformed and you don't feel very happy about it," said Von Dollen. "I did it for me to prove to myself that I can still be pretty when I'm missing a limb."

Von Dollen now hopes to inspire others, something her father says is already happening.

"She certainly has adapted, we've all pitched in but she's basically done it all herself," said Larry Von Dollen. "There are people that can share common bonds and common experiences and see that certain things that may look like barriers are not brick walls, you can work around them."

Working hard and moving forward.

Two things this soon-to-be high school senior is more than happy to do.

"You work with what you have and it's like, I lost my hand but I can still beat up on a heffer and halter break her, and tie her behind the back of a truck and walk her," said Von Dollen. "You know, life goes on."

Von Dollen hopes to study mechanical engineering in college so she can help make prosthetics for others.

She has also started Sunflowers for Sarcoma, to help raise money for Sarcoma tumor research.


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