This 9-Year-Old Amputee Who Escaped A Wildfire Explains Why She Refused To Live Life In A Wheelchair

"I'm not going to listen to you."

When Lilly Biagini was just 6 years old, she decided living life in her wheelchair was not an option. Lilly was born with a congenital disorder called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which meant that she had no joints in her lower extremities. Now 9, Lilly and her mother, Jessica, speak with Ellen DeGeneres about Lilly's condition and their recent experience surviving a Northern California wildfire.

Jessica explains that her daughter was wheelchair-bound and wearing full-body casts for six years of her life. When doctors told her she would remain in a wheelchair for her whole life, Lilly decided to opt for surgery, amputating both of her legs from the knee down. She remembers telling them:


"Yeah, you're kidding. I'm not going to listen to you. I'm going to tell you right now. I'm going to have surgery like in one month." Lilly adds that she wasn't scared about the surgery, but her mother was. 

"When I got home, I grabbed one of my Barbie dolls and I just took off their legs [to] see what I would look like. It was fine. It was fine," she says with a smile. Since then, Lilly has learned to swim and horseback ride, too. 

Unfortunately, Lilly lost her prosthetics and wheelchair in the fire, as well as the rest of her family's belongings. Jessica says they lost their car, too, and will have to figure out how to replace it. 

To help Lilly, Jessica, and others who are in need, Ellen set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the victims of the wildfires. She also surprises Lilly and Jessica with a brand-new car, filled with toys for Lilly's November birthday.

Check out Lilly's full interview below:

If you want to help, there are a few options. GoFundMe has provided a list of verified campaigns to offer money to victims of the fire. Airbnb has waived service fees so people in the region can offer their home to evacuees. You can also donate to the Napa Valley Community Foundation.


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