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NORTHFIELD, Ohio–A Northfield family is saying thank you to the community who lifted them after their 6-year-old daughter lost her leg after complications from strep throat and the flu.

One year later, Tessa Puma has a prosthetic leg that allows her to do what she loves most.

“I get to perform my dances,” said Tessa with a smile. “I love dancing so much because we get to wear these really cool costumes.”

Friday marked her first big hometown performance. It was more than a recital of her hip-hop dance, it cemented a step in a new direction for a fighter who never stopped dancing in her spirit even in her darkest of days.

“There was a 20 percent chance she would live so you think there’s an 80 percent chance she would die,” remembers Matt Puma, Tessa’s dad.

He said through all the heartbreak and pain, his daughter persevered, just like he always believed she would.

As a crowd filled the auditorium at Nordonia High School Friday evening to witness The Center Stage Dance Studio competition, when Tessa took the stage, it seemed like it was meant for her all along.

More stories on Tessa Puma here