My story begins the day I was born. I’d like to think it was somewhat relieving for my parents those first few years because I was too young to know and care I was missing my left arm. When I hit that age where I realized I was different, and always would be, the struggle of insecurity, disapproval, and rejection came crashing in. I always felt a little better when I would wear my prosthesis, hoping that no one would notice my arm. This required me to wear a lot of ¾ length and long sleeve shirts during a time when tube tops were every pre-teens dream. As I got older, the easier it got to accept that I had one arm, but that feeling of rejection was always in the back of my mind. That’s when I finally decided to completely trust what the Lord says and rest in Psalms 139, which states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. (Psalms 139:13-16)
From that point on I tried to see any positive in my disability. I began to thank Jesus for everything I had instead of feeling defeated for what I was missing. I was an athletic girl growing up but attempted very few sports. After realizing you have to really enjoy running to be a track star, I decided to change paths. I always liked tennis because it was something I shared with my dad. I tried out for my high school team and played for two years as the number one spot. Life began to feel less challenging.
In college, I started to specifically pray for a man that would love me the way God saw me. These prayers showed me how much God truly loved me as He began to reveal blessing after blessing. My husband and I started off as friends in college so I knew he was well aware of my arm. I’ll never forget the day he told me he thought I was beautiful in every way. I grew up with my parents telling me I was beautiful, but hearing it from him was just different. It was what God had been promising me.
After going on three mission trips to Brazil, I knew my calling was to serve others. I graduated college in 2013 with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I was hired from an internship as a Therapeutic Foster Care Case Worker. Those trips and job were so eye-opening and have allowed me to put my focus towards helping others.
I came across Lauren’s story early in 2015 and was immediately intrigued by the confidence she displayed as a woman missing her left arm. One of the first things I noticed was how natural her prosthesis looked. I was reading the stories of Lauren, Ashley, and Lisa on The LSK Foundation website when I noticed that there was a place to apply to receive a covering. I thought to myself, why not? I enjoyed filling out the application and telling my story in depth because it allowed me to reflect on some of the funnier moments involving my arm. I received an email in April from Lisa saying they loved my story and wanted to talk more. In July, the LSK team informed me that an organic skincare company called Cocokind was going to be my sponsor and cover all the costs of my cosmetic covering. That was the moment I realized I was about to have an experience that would change my life forever. To top it off, Cocokind featured me and my story on the side of one of their product boxes, which was so special and something I’ll keep forever.
I was so excited when the date was set to go to Dallas to receive my arm. It was the neatest experience to meet Mr. Mike Holt of ARTech and get to know him as he painted the covering to match my skin tone. I think my husband and I both wanted to cry when he told me I’d be able to paint the fingernails. That simple statement meant so much to me, a girl who had gone 26 years without having her nails painted. I’m always at a loss for words when I try to explain what this journey has meant to me. It really could take me all day to explain all the love I’ve received along the way. To Lauren, Ashley and Lisa, thank you for seeing something worthy of my story and allowing me to have this experience. I have enjoyed getting to know all of you so much and admire everything you’re doing to change the lives of young women. To Priscilla and her team at Cocokind, thank you for sponsoring me and having the desire to give back. I will never forget what all you have done for me.
Kelley's silicone restoration was sponsored by our wonderful friends at Cocokind Skincare.