GRANITE BAY (CBS13) — A Granite Bay teen has all the right moves, and she’s defying all the odds. A few months after she was born a medical scare changed her life forever.

Soon Kate Wilmarth will become a third degree black belt in karate.

“It kind of comes naturally to me,” said Kate.

But it hasn’t always been easy for Kate. In fact, some think it can’t even be possible.

“When people find out what I do, they’re kind of like, ‘wait a minute what, you can do what?’” said Kate.

Days after Kate was born, a staph infection forced doctors to consider amputating her legs. They saved them, but couldn’t do the same for Kate’s feet: “I have water shoes that I wear. And of course I have my prosthetics also. I’ve just adjusted and adapted the instructors don’t mind they just want me to do the best that I can do,” said Kate.

Interestingly enough, Kate wears her prosthetics for everything else, but karate.

“My right foot actually occasionally tends to fly off when I try to kick with it on,” she says.

Neda: Has there ever been a time where you’ve thought: I don’t know if I can do this?

Kate: No, never. Never wanted to quit.

Kate says her doctors told her that she could do whatever she wanted to do, and now she’s proving them right and teaching her own moves to kids in her karate class.

“Absolutely, you know, if I think I’m having a bad day, I’ll always look at Kate and her trying to balance and do her thing and just having a positive attitude about being able to participate,” said karate instructor Mark Caswell.

“I finally found something I love to do. I can be myself,” said Kate.

Beside minor adjustments in her karate classes, Kate can do it all. It’s taken her 10 years to get her black belt.


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