PLANO, Texas — Addison Mouser lives life on her toes.
When she was two, she begged her mom for ballet classes. By 15, Mouser was training with Joffrey Ballet School and performing on big stages.
But in October 2018, her dance career hit a sudden halt.
"I was in the dance studio, and I was doing a big jump and came down and it popped," Mouser remembered.
She was practicing for an upcoming show at the Dallas Conservatory. Doctors told Mouser she tore her ACL.
It was the last thing she needed after recovering from a long illness. Mouser has a blood disorder that left her bedridden.
"I just don't know why this is happening to me," she said.
It seemed like one thing after another. Mouser was being pulled away from dance.
Even as a baby, learning to walk was hard. Mouser has a hearing impairment that makes walking and balancing difficult, but it never stopped her from learning how to dance.
After her ACL injury, she ended up at Children's Health Andrews Institute for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. She underwent surgery. Then, Mouser went back for rehabilitation through its dance medicine program.
"When an athlete gets injured, they can come here and get their whole total care done," said Dr. Troy Smurawa, director of Pediatric Sports Medicine.
To him, Mouser is an inspiration to injured athletes.
"She moved forward and worked hard and she is almost to her goal of getting back to dance, and we're very proud of her," he said.
Mouser is proof that hard work and heart can make all the difference.
"Whatever happens to you, you can never stop living your dreams," she said.