Listen up! If you’ve ever felt held back from achieving your dreams or were told you couldn’t do something because you were not good enough, then you’ve got to meet Kanya Amberlee Sesser. After you hear her story, you’ll have absolutely no excuses for not going after what you want in life.
Kanya is also an incredible athlete who skateboards and surfs. To check out an inspiring interview and to see some of her mad board skills, watch the video below:
Kanya, who now lives an awesome life in Los Angeles, was born and abandoned on the side of the road in Thailand. The people who found her as a helpless newborn unwrapped her from her blanket and discovered she had no legs.
There is no scarring on Kanya’s legs or any other evidence of trauma, so she believes she was born this way and was possibly the reason for her abandonment.
Kanya never let her disability stop her, and in fact, doesn’t even consider herself disabled. She refuses to acknowledge the word and instead refers to herself as “uniquely different”. It’s with this positive outlook on life that Kanya has now become a successful model!
Kanya describes herself as an extrovert and a firm believer in making her life her own way. She says, “I honestly don’t use the term ‘disabled’, more like uniquely different. Disabled to me seems like a word which prevents you being what you are.
“I can still move and walk on hands. Being born with what you don’t have and having to go through life challenges you in your own ways. I was born without legs so I have to make my life in my own way – out of my own perspective through the reality.”
Kanya credits her supportive and open-minded adoptive family for helping her to achieve her goals in life. She reveals she has had her share of trolls and haters, but doesn’t let them get to her.
Kanya explained to Unlaid: “You can’t let people who are small-minded with negative energy or mindset, or problems or any different reasoning, affect your life. No one can change the way they think or the way they are and so I accept that. It’s okay. Life goes on.”
While Kanya has been working as a model since she was 15 and has made a successful career for herself, she now has her sights on bigger goals. She claims she never intended for modeling to be her main source of income and instead wants to be a motivational speaker.
Modeling has given her a chance to challenge beauty standards and show how the art form can project different versions of people. She says people have noticed her because she does not fit the traditional mold for a model, but hopes the industry can move further in this direction.
Kanya says she would like to see more plus sized models, models in wheelchairs, and others on the runway who are also “uniquely different” in order to more accurately reflect the types of people we see in everyday life.
“I don’t see life as a problem living without legs. I see it as, ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’. I can find my way to adapt,” she says. “Be yourself. Focus on yourself and make yourself better than yesterday. Don’t take life too seriously and don’t blow it off like it’s nothing.”
Wow! It certainly seems like her motivational speaker career is going to be successful, too.