It is always remarkable when people find new ways to do everyday tasks.
I can remember receiving Christmas cards painted by artists using their feet and being amazed.
I’m clumsy. Uncoordinated. My feet are basically good for walking and nothing else.
But when I was a small child, I didn’t have the dexterity to write or knit with my fingers, so it makes sense that such dexterity can be learned over time.
And as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
Still it’s hard to fathom, which is why it’s so powerful when people who live this way are willing to share that part of themselves on social media, as Inga Petry has done.
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21-year-old Inga started life in an orphanage in Novosibirsk, Siberia.
According to an interview she did for Medium as a freshman at King’s College in New York, her birth mother endured a series of comas, which caused Inga to be born without arms.
The condition is called “upper limb aplasia,” and the CDC notes that it affects about 1 in 19,000 children born in the United States.
But it didn’t slow Inga down.
The Daily Mail reported that Inga was adopted at the age of 2-and-a-half by Pennsylvania based accountant Daniel and music teacher Jennifer Petry.
“My parents taught me that there were no excuses. My mother was a music teacher and she taught me how to play the cello without arms.”
She has played since she was only three, learning by the Suzuki method, and her favorite piece is Camille Saint-Saëns’ haunting masterpiece “The Swan” from Carnival of the Animals.
Inga and Elena Petry – just incredible @TheOHMITrust #OHMIconference pic.twitter.com/jFKnd6Lz3N
— Sophie Gray (@SophEGray) September 7, 2018
According to that Medium article, Inga’s parents adopted five other children as well, each with their own disability.
Active on social media, Inga maintains a sense of humor and uses her platform to educate people about life with disabilities.
Her Instagram profile bio cheekily states, “Just call me Venus de Milo,” and on YouTube, she posts makeup tutorials:
And real talk about the ins and outs of dating with a disability:
Some of those posts feature her boyfriend Joe, as well.
The two met while Inga was a freshman at King’s College, and shared a long-distance relationship for awhile, with Joe attending college in Georgia.
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During the pandemic they quarantined together, and Inga recently transferred down south to continue her education at the University of Miami (Go ‘Canes).
Grateful for the offer of prosthetics, Inga decided that she ultimately didn’t need them.
She spent her life adapting to the demands of an abled world, learning to cook, write, put on mascara, and drive a car with her feet.
A tall chair helps her around the kitchen, so she can use the stove and wash the dishes.
At King’s College, Inga studied politics, philosophy, economics, and international affairs.
Her ambitions include motivational speaking, law, investigative analysis, and international counter-terrorism.
She’s also interested in modeling, and she told The Daily Mail that there should be more diversity in that arena.
“I think it would be incredible to see more women with disabilities in the modeling and fashion industry.”
Watch this video from SWNS, Atlanta for more.
Clearly, Inga has a bright future ahead of her, and we’re all just lucky to be along for the ride.
What do you think of this inspiring young woman? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.