13-year-old bone cancer survivor gets special 3-D printed leg prosthetic

Jillian Ripley is now taking steps forward with a new prosthetic leg, made in part by a 3-D printer. (WSYX/WTTE)

Jillian Ripley is now taking steps forward with a new prosthetic leg, made in part by a 3-D printer.

"I feel good," said the 8th grader, "I mean can't run yet, getting there."

The 13-year-old's battle started with a cancer diagnosis as she turned 11. Osteosarcoma attacked bone in her leg and later came back in her lungs.

"Just can't let anything get to you," she said.

She said she's cancer free today, but prosthetic parts she got after having to have part of her leg amputated just didn't work.

"Couldn't really do that much with it," said Ripley, "it was heavy."

Charity Nellie's Champions for Kids connected Ripley and her family with Aaron Westbrook and his non-profit.

"I always say from first and one hand experience, I kind of know what people would need if they are missing a hand or an arm," said Westbrook, Founder and CEO of Form5.

Westbrook was born with only one hand, and has been on a mission to make prosthetics better.

"I started researching prosthetics when I was 15," he said.

He's now 19-years-old, and his non-profit, Form5, with help from Owens Corning, made Jillian a new leg prosthetic, giving her more mobility.

"Pretty much the socket and the ankle and everything else was 3-D printed," said Westbrook.

Ripley has a lot of plans for what is next as well.

"Sports," she said, "I've been bowling since I was four, I think. It has always been my favorite sport, so trying to get back into that."

Westbrook has plans to continue his work at Form5.

"Days like today, like final presentation days and seeing our recipients put on the device, those are the days that I live for," he said, "the hard work and everything, to see that payoff is incredible."

He said Form5 became a non-profit about a year ago. Westbrook is helping multiple people with prosthetic parts, while also studying business at the Ohio State University.


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