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10-year-old fighting cancer receives first-of-its-kind surgery in San Antonio

A new kind of implant has ensured the young Texas girl didn't have to lose a leg.

SAN ANTONIO — Zamiah Adams is a star. She's bright, bubbly and loves to dance.

"I want to be famous," Adams said.

The 10-year-old is constantly learning new moves on Tik Tok. Even when she's sick, Zamiah makes time for fun.

She gets it from her mom, Tyronae, who knows how to make the best of a bad situation. Together, the mother-daughter duo turns a trip to the hospital into a fashion show. They wear colorful matching outfits and strike a pose for the camera. 

Tyronae will do whatever it takes to keep her daughter laughing. 

"She likes it when I act silly," she said. "She's strong, very strong. I tell her she's stronger than me."

In February, Zamiah was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Doctors found a large tumor in her femur, just above her knee. 

"It was the worst news any parent could take," Tyronae said.

Typically, this case would require amputation, but the team at Methodist Children's Hospital had other plans for Zamiah. They were able to save her leg with an extendable implant. As she grows, the implant will too. 

It's the first time this type of surgery has been done in San Antonio.  

"It's custom-made for her. It's specific for her, brought over on a plane from England," said her surgeon, Dr. Rajiv Rajani. "This implant is made to have growth inside of it so that we can have her limb be the same length as her other limb when she's finally done growing in a few years."

Zamiah's surgery was two months ago. Now, she's happy and healing and back to dancing. She's showing off her moves on one leg for now.

"She says no pain, but you know she's a tough one," Tyronae said.

"It's no pain Mom," Zamiah said. "It feels normal!"

Zamiah still has three rounds of chemotherapy to go through, on top of physical therapy. But she'll be in good company; Tyronae will be there every step of the way. 

"As long as she's happy, that's what makes me happy," Tyronae said. "This is my baby, my first child."

Zamiah will be back on the center stage soon. She's excited about the party her family has waiting for her.

"We're going to have balloons and we'll let them blow in the air," Zamiah said. "And we're all going to wear yellow because that's the color of my ribbon."

The young girl reached a milestone in her treatment in mid-October. Propped up on crutches, she proudly strutted down the hall of Methodist Children's Hospital to celebrate her remission. Nurses and doctors lined the walls, cheering and waving pom-poms as they guided Zamiah to the finish line. 

She loudly rang the bell, signifying the end of her chemotherapy treatment. Zamiah will start physical therapy soon to learn how to walk on her own again. 

According to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, cancer is diagnosed in about 175,000 children worldwide each year.