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A Canadian dancer has become a TikTok sensation for filming videos about living with a disability.
Kristie Sita, who lost her hand in a boating accident when she was 16, has gone viral on social media for demonstrating to her more than 535,000 followers how she does typical day-to-day activities with one hand. The 23-year-old's videos, which include how she puts on a watch and how she cuts food, have earned more than 6 million likes on TikTok.
Sita, who lives in Vancouver, B.C., uses prosthetics for certain activities like weight lifting but says she tries to avoid wearing them as much as possible. Sita set the record straight after she received a comment from a follower who said they hoped she would someday get a "robotic hand."
“I don't want a prosthetic...I don't want a hand. And I know it might sound a little crazy, so just let me tell you why,” the now 23-year-old said. “Since my accident, I’ve been super confident in who I am. I know it’s not the cutest or the prettiest thing in the world, but this is who I am. I find that the more I cover it up, the more I’m going to be insecure about it."
Sita, who now works as an actor and dancer and has appeared in such films as Disney's "Descendants 2," has embraced life as an amputee.
“I’m learning to be confident in who I am and what my body looks like because this is who I am," she continued.
Her video was quickly met with supportive comments from followers who thanked Sita for not trying to hide her disability.
“I love the positive outlook! We choose our own attitudes each day," one user wrote. "Be confident, be strong, and believe in yourself."
“I love your attitude!" someone else added, while another wrote, "It looks fine to me! I love your confidence."
TikTok users who live with physical disabilities and limitations have praised Sita for encouraging them to accept themselves.
"I took so much away from this. I needed to hear this. Thank you," another commented.
"I love this," one male follower wrote. "I'm a leg amputee and know how insecure being an amputee can be."
Back in 2019, Sita shared her story for the first time in an interview with The Sun, revealing that she had taken a selfie just hours before losing her hand.
Sita explained that she and her friends were relaxing on a lake when a rope tied to an inflatable became tangled around her wrist. She was unexpectedly jerked from the boat and fell into the water, unaware that she was injured.
After falling unconscious for a few moments, she found herself waking up in the water surrounded by her own blood, and when she raised her arm she realized that her hand was no longer there. Her hand was later recovered in the water, still attached to the rope.
"I kept thinking it was a nightmare. It couldn't be real. In five seconds my life had changed forever," she told The Sun. "My arm was sewn together by wrapping my palm around the wound. My ligaments and muscles were torn around my shoulder. They moved some of my muscles down so that my arm could be fully weight-bearing."
"Being an amputee has brought so much love and purpose into my life. It's made me notice the people who stuck with me through the hard moments," she added.