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36-year-old double amputee circus performer returns back to the - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

36-year-old double amputee circus performer returns back to the ring

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -

A circus performer made a courageous return to the ring after suffering from a tragedy that took both of her legs.

Aimee Hancock has been coaching a professional circus artist for nearly nine years.

"She has a lot of experience under her belt she knows her body really well," said Hancock. 

"She's just so encouraging," said Erin Ball, circus performer. 

Ball is a 36-year-old from Ontario and has been performing in circuses since 2008.

But all that came to a halt when tragedy stuck two years ago. Ball lost both of her legs to frostbite after being lost for six days in the woods in Kingston, Ontario. 

"I went through a period where I thought my life was over. I had given up," said Ball.  

But Ball didn't give up. After spending 11 months in the hospital she began her long road to recovery.

"It was like starting at square one with everything," said Ball. 

With some help from prosthetics, Ball began to walk again and once she had that down she new exactly who to call. 

"As soon as I got the cones I came to see her and said what should we do with these and she just worked with me and had all these great ideas," said Ball. 

And surely enough, she made her way back to the ring.

"Since then a lot of opportunities have opened up," said Ball.

She was asked to be a guest performer in the Flying Nut produced by New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro.

"I was really honored," said Ball.

"She has this ability to inspire everyone around her because she's just carrying on with this amazing ability she has even given the challenges that she's faced," said Serenity Smith Forchion, NECCA co-owner. 

The tragedy may have changed Ball physically, but she didn't let it prevent her from doing what she loves. 

"It's so all-encompassing from you and needs everything and demands everything of you that the fact that she did find her way back to it is a big deal because it's such a huge part of who she is," said Hancock. 

Ball practices seven days a week and plans to continue on a long career in circus performing.

Click here for more information about the annual production of "The Flying Nut."

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