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Girl without hands wins penmanship award

Posted at 9:20 AM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-09 09:20:30-04

(WTKR via CNN Newsource) 7-year-old Anaya Ellick is a first a grader at Greenbriar Christian Academy and even on days like today, when she was  awarded for excellence in writing, she can't see why she's so special.

"She doesn't look at herself as being different," said awards director Chy Davidson.

Anaya was born with no hands. And how she's overcome this extraordinary circumstance is truly what makes her special.

"Anaya is determined," said her mother Bianca Middleton.

Determined to defy the odds. And she's done just that.

She was the winner of the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship.

"Were you excited?" she was asked. Her answer, "Yes." "Were you a little shy? a reporter said to her.  "Nervous," she responded.

Some may look at Anaya see her with no hands and wonder, well what can she do? But the real question should be what can she not do?

"She ties her shoes, she gets dressed by herself, she doesn't need any assistance to do anything at this point," her mother said.

"She wants to play soccer, she wants to do karate. She wants to do gymnastics," said her father Gary Ellick.

Anaya was Bianca and Gary’s  first daughter. 7 years ago things were much different when they found out their first born would be impaired.

"Of course as a parent, no one knows, I didn't know what to expect," Bianca said.

"It was a shock at first,” said her father.

A shock that quickly turned into inspiration.

"Certain things sometimes will feel like a challenge then I’ll think about her; man if she could write sentences and defy all these things that doctors said it’s like man you know why am I complaining?" Gary said.

But for Anaya there are no excuses and no limits.

"Sometimes you know she'll tell me she can do something and in my mind I'm kinda like ‘how are you gonna do that?’ " Gary said.

Perhaps the only thing Anaya can't do yet is see how much she inspires every person that crosses paths with her.

"Ooh she's just warms your heart when I saw her picture on our website, it was the first time I, it just brought tears," Davidson said.

A vibrant young girl thriving in day-to-day life with a challenge many of us may never understand.

"So how do you feel now that you have this big beautiful trophy?" Anaya was asked. She said, "Happy." 

"And what did you say you were gonna do with it?" she was asked.  "I was gonna keep it in my room and draw a picture of it," Anaya said.

Anaya's teacher says she is a hard worker and has some of the best handwriting in her class.

Anaya has to hold her pencil between her two arms and stand at her desk, in order to have the proper angle to write.