Many young ballet dancers dream of the day when they can dance en pointe, and Zoe Shepard was no different. However, when she was finally old enough to begin learning the technique, pain in her heel prevented her from starting alongside her peers.
"It would be so bad that I couldn’t roll through my foot or walk,” Zoe said. “I’d be limping.”
Zoe was diagnosed with Sever’s disease, which is painful inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. Although Zoe’s ballet studio had physical therapy on-site, the services weren’t available to her through her insurance, and their off-site location didn’t specialize in young dancers. Her mom, Ronda, wanted to find a program that was both accessible and tailored to the needs of a growing dancer, so one day she stopped by Children’s at Ivy Walk to see if the Sports Medicine Program there could help Zoe.
“We had a horrible time trying to find therapy that was reasonable, close by and that knew what to do with her. It seemed like because she was a dancer it was a little more challenging,” Ronda said.