Could you imagine making the decision to have your leg amputated at 11-years-old? That’s exactly what Tessa Snyder had to do, and she struggled for years to try to repair her relationship with her body. But now a successful, confident Snyder is more grateful than ever that her younger self never gave up.
Young Tessa’s Turmoil
Tessa Snyder, a 29-year-old model and entrepreneur from Philadelphia, never dreamed that she would grow up to become a model. Mostly, because she didn’t know if she’d ever feel comfortable in her body again. When Snyder was just 11 years old, she had to make an incredibly tough and mature decision to save her own life.
A Monumental Decision
When Snyder was 11 in 2000, she began to notice an intense pain in her leg. After a few months of suffering, she finally got an MRI, which revealed cancer in her femur. Before long, she began chemotherapy, and her body began to feel as if it were out of her own hands. Her hair fell out, making her feel less confident, and she was often exhausted. Soon, though, another option was presented to young Snyder to make it all stop.
Reclaiming Her Body
If Snyder were to have her leg removed above where the tumor was, it could prevent her cancer from returning. After careful thought, young Snyder made the mature decision to remove her leg to increase her chances of survival after chemo. However, the recovery period was the hardest part. She had to learn to use a prosthetic, and it was often painful and frustrating to try to accept her new body. But slowly and surely, Snyder began to find comfort in her skin.
A New Kind Of Confidence
Across the years, Snyder began to start modeling, reclaiming her confidence in her appearance. She began to look back on her younger self with much more compassion. She now feels “more beautiful and sexier than ever,” and expresses that, even on the most frustrating days, she’s grateful to be alive. More than anything, Snyder hopes her story can inspire girls like herself to not give up in the face of cancer or any other challenge!
Living Life To The Fullest
Despite all the long, difficult days, Snyder has found peace with her body across the last two decades. It hasn’t all been easy, but Snyder has come much farther than she ever anticipated that she would. She now has a partner, two children, and feels more comfortable in her body than she ever has before. And while her child-self was forced to make some big decisions that impacted her confidence as a teen, neither could have predicted where adult-Snyder would end up in the future!