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High school student walks for the first time after classmates raise funds for prosthetic leg

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Posted at 12:24 PM, Jan 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 08:39:21-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- 14-year-old Alia Sainval took her very first steps two days ago, after National Honor Society members at South Fort Myers High School helped raise money for her first prosthetic leg.

"There's really no words to describe how happy we are to be able to be part of this, to be part of her journey," said Honor Society Treasurer, Jacqueline Espinoza.

Sainval was born without her right leg in Haiti after her mother was injured in a fall. "In a third world country, they didn't have the means to save that leg of hers," said Sainval's translator, Natacha Gabriel.

She came to Southwest Florida from Haiti in August of 2018 with her father. She was using crutches at the time, which kept breaking, after her family back in Haiti kept sending her more to use. Her classmates noticed, and said they wanted to step in to help.

"We really felt compelled that there was something we should do about it," said Espinoza.

Espinoza said the National Honor Society members called doctors and specialists across the area, and found that Hanger Clinic in Fort Myers was willing to help.

"When we first fit her, she took a couple steps and her face lit up. And you could just tell she felt empowered," said Peter Dipaolo, Senior Clinition at Hanger Clinic.

The students, along with the community have raised over $1,400, but the end goal is to raise $9,000 to completely fund for Sainval's new leg. You can donate by sending checks directly to South Fort Myers High School located at 14020 Plantation Road or heading to her gofundme page.