“the girl with the zebra leg” Is Up For Prestigious Award (Video)
Created by ESPN The Magazine’s senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, the Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award will be awarded at the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game. The recipient is selected from a pool of weekly nominees from throughout the 2012 college football season.
Requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.
This year’s nominees include Clemson’s Daniel Rodriguez, Arizona State’s Angelo Richardson, Florida’s Neiron Ball and Arkansas’ Patience Beard.
Beard, a freshman from Texarkana, Texas, made the Razorbacks’ cheerleading squad despite having a prosthetic left leg.
She is known as “the girl with the zebra leg” because of the special design of the prosthetic she wears. Patience was born with a proximal femoral focal deficiency, which affects bone growth, and at age 9 months her left leg was amputated. That has barely slowed her down.
She participated in gymnastics early, took up cheerleading in middle school and was her high school’s homecoming queen last year.
Here’s a look at how she overcame the odds to become a big-time college football cheerleader.
We salute Patience’s drive, will and perseverance – and wish her all the best in the future.