About a year ago, seven-year-old Macey Collins made a decision that would change everything about her life.
What if I started a story saying, "Once upon a time there was a girl named Macey and she was very brave?"
Macey Collins has been through a lot in her seven-year life. Her family has been with her at every step of the way.
"One night when I was spending the night at the hospital my dad slept there with me. Thank you. I love you dad," Macey said.
"I like my mom doing it better because she doesn't snore like him," she added.
But when she talks about bravery it's not about the one thing you would expect. She made a decision that for the rest of us might have been agonizing.
"We knew actually before she was born," said Macey's father Will Collins.
An early ultra sound showed Macey had a clubfoot but only an X-ray before surgery to work on the foot revealed she was also missing her fibula bone.
"When she was 4 or 5 they decided they would start doing lengthening on her leg so she went through some surgeries, said Macey's mother Melina Collins.
The surgeries were painful and though she was in and out of the operating room 11 times, her foot never quite touched the ground.
"I could only walk on my tippy toes and that's not what I like," said Macey.
Then young Macey hit a hurdle.
"The blood supply was not normal to her legs, the wounds were not healing, so at that point, it was clear it was the end of the road," said Dr. Lael Luedtke.
She was left with two possible turns, more surgery with the promise of more pain, but not necessarily good results, or doctors could begin discussing amputation.
"When it first hit me I had a hard time holding it back. I felt so bad for her, Will Collins said.
"The easy part was just cut it off. I don't want it," Macey said.
"She sees kids all the time that have prosthetic legs all the time. She goes to camp with them. She sees everything they can do," Melina said.
Even when it was all over and the leg was gone there were no tears from the seven year old.
"All kids have something special about them but in Macey's case she has this incredible spirit," Luedtke said.
"Some people say my leg looks scary. It looks different to them I just say it's not," Macey said.
As you can imagine, Macey was not bashful about throwing herself right back into life.
She had been waiting a long time to dance. That was the point of all of this after all.
"There was so much she wasn't able to do like I'm not getting there on this leg. I'm going to get there this way," Melina said.
If the decision to amputate wasn't hard enough the rest hasn't always been easy. The toughest choice for Macey was what her second and more permanent prosthesis would look like.
"I remember when I had to pick from so many patterns," she said.
This is what she landed on. A fabric she chose herself an account of owls are her favorite animal.
Becky Lynn Born, a certified prosthesis is making Macey's second leg.
"It's pretty common for new amputees to have a couple of different sockets in the first year because their legs change so much, said Born.
Within a week making the case model of her new leg, she's trying it out and you get a sense that even for a determined girl this is no fun.
"It doesn't feel good at all. It will take some getting used to. And it hurts," Macey said.
But after a lot of work the new model is perfected, Macey can slip it on and go.
"I think there are some very exciting things on Macey's horizon," Luedtke said.
Which is how Macey sees it, too. She can pretty much write the ending of her story.
"And when Macey got bigger she got better. Then she did gymnastics. There is no cap on what she can accomplish," Luedtke added.