'It's just nice to see someone like me:' Double amputee finds strength, friendship through sled hockey

Bridget Condon Image
Monday, December 9, 2019
Double amputee finds strength, friendship through sled hockey
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Rosie is finding other ways to overcome the odds after doctors told her parents she may never walk even with assistance.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Rosie Mcrackan stole the show after one Carolina Hurricanes game when she asked James Reimer to sign her Superhero woman hip.

"I feel like a superhero all the time," said McRackan. "I even have a superhero name made up."

That superhero's name is Golden Girl.

"She is real," McRackan said. "Me. I'm real."

"That's just her," said her father, Robert McRackan. "Shyness has never been...everyone has some problems to overcome shyness is not one for her she's very open. What you saw on that video is just how she is."

Rosie was born with just one arm and one leg. Doctors told her parents she may never walk even with assistance.

"There's very few times that she says I can't do something and few times that we allow it," Robert McRackan said. "She's just another one of the kids and there's so little she can't do."

"There are some things I can't do say jump roping," McRackan said. "I also can't answer certain math problems above my grade but that's normal, right?"

Rosie has tried out a lot of sports from baseball to swimming with one of her favorites being sled hockey.

"I love the rush of cold air as I go fast," she said. "It was probably a lot of falling and someone holding the big silver thing on my back to keep me steady. By the end of the season, I outgrew it. I didn't need it anymore. I could get up on my own and all that."

"She's awesome," said Chandler Balkman. "It's really hard to be out on a sled with one arm and one leg. Every time she gets knocked over I ask, do you want help? No, I don't want help as she's getting up. She's adorable. It's great."

Balkman and Rosie have a unique bond-- they both have the same amputation from the hip.

"We were both on crutches and we were looking at each other like 'Hey, what kind of amputation do you have?'" Balkman said. "At the hip, I've got no leg at all."

"It's just nice to see someone like me," McRackan said. "I've never, ever, ever seen someone who's a hip."

"People aren't coming here to be coddled," said Balkman. "And have people look at them and be like wow you're an inspirational, they're here to have fun and to get hit and to be aggressive and to get into a sport without any barriers."