A teen has defied the odds and overcome numerous surgeries to become a street dancing world champion.
Gemma Waters, 13, was born with a club foot and has undergone multiple operations over the years to try and rectify the condition.
She still attends hospital regularly for check-ups on her condition – but it has not stopped her from following her dancing passion.
The teenager has gone on to find success in the world of dance and along with her partner Nyomi was crowned the under-14 intermediate duo champion at an international event.
Gemma’s success in the UDO World Street Dance Championships was made all the more remarkable given she was diagnosed with spinal condition Scoliosis just weeks before the competition began.
Gemma said: “By the time I was four, I had already had four surgeries on my foot.
“It’s something I’ve accepted I will have to deal with for the rest of my life.
“I’ve been dancing for years and have done tap and modern dancing in the past.
“I currently do mostly street dancing and I travelled down to Blackpool last month to compete with that.
“It was my sister who first noticed something might be wrong with my back.
“I was showing her my back and when she was looking at it she said, I think you might have scoliosis.”
After having a consultation with her long-time doctor at Ninewells Hospital, it was confirmed Gemma would need surgery to rectify the curve.
She explained: “I was referred to the Sick Kids Hospital down in Edinburgh for treatment.
“The doctors there told me my curve was actually 60 degrees.”
The news meant more surgery was on the horizon for Gemma, as she prepares to undergo the spinal operation in the coming weeks.
However, the daunting prospect of having lengthy surgery is not worrying her in the slightest.
The Baldragon Academy pupil said: “I’m actually kind of excited about it.
“My appearance is something I am slightly self conscious about so that’s why I want to get it done.
“I think it will make me more confident.
“The surgery will quite literally be a weight off my back.”
Gemma, from Ardler, will be in hospital for around a month following the operation in October and will miss out on her dancing while she recovers.
Gemma said: “I really want to get back to dancing as soon as possible.
“My dancing partner Nyomi is willing to wait for me while I get better.
“My doctor at Ninewells, Dr Campbell, is like family really.
“When he told me I had scoliosis you could see in his face how upset he was about it.
“We thought it could be related to the club foot but we were told that was not the case.”
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Gemma’s parents Liz and Tony are incredibly proud of her achievements and believe she can help inspire others to overcome issues they may face.
Liz said: “She is an inspiration to others.
“And she is evidence that with hard work you can still overcome what life throws at you.”