Meet Sarah Dransfield, the 24-year-old bone cancer survivor turned amputee model

Emerald Pellot
·3 min read

Sarah Dransfield lost her leg to cancer when she was just 16 years old. 

Now, at 24, she’s being featured in Vogue Italia, proudly (and chicly) showing off her prosthetic. Dransfield hails from Yorkshire, U.K. and is represented by Zebedee Management, a modeling agency that represents all sorts of diverse talent. 

Dransfield discovered Zebedee almost by accident, according to the model. 

“I stumbled across @zebedee_management one night whilst flicking through Instagram and decided to apply on a whim,” she wrote in the caption of her Vogue Italia photo on Instagram. “Since then I’ve had so many opportunities that I would only have dreamt of. This photo was taken on a back street in Sheffield and has somehow found its way to Italy.”

The model isn’t shy about rocking her prosthetic leg. Dransfield can often be spotted on her Instagram wearing short skirts or dresses that highlight her prosthetic, which typically features a pop of orange or pink color

But the road to her success was paved with life-changing hurdles. Before becoming a model, Dransfield was quiet and shy. Then the diagnosis changed everything. 

“Before all this happened I was really quite shy and struggled to speak in front of people. That’s all changed even though I still have days when life can be a struggle and I think, ‘Why me?’ My diagnosis was quite late because the pain was initially diagnosed as a sprain and it was a physio who advised me to pay for an MRI scan because she felt heat in the leg,” Dransfield told the Yorkshire Post. “By that stage, the tumor had taken hold of my knee and it felt all bubbly ’round the back of it.”

Following the amputation, Dransfield learned the cancer had spread to her lungs. She required two more surgeries. After she healed, Dransfield started to volunteer weekly at Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust. This led to her modeling for charities and eventually coming out of her shell. 

In fact, during her first official modeling job, a shoot for the U.K. clothing brand River Island, no one could even tell it was her first time. 

“I was there in London, this new girl from Yorkshire and found myself with girls who had just done New York Fashion Week,” Dransfield told the Yorkshire Post. “They had all the right moves and kept asking me who I’d worked for before so in the end, I admitted it was my first job and I wasn’t a trained model.”

If you liked this story, check out this article about Grace Strobel, an up-and-coming model with Down syndrome.

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