JENKS, Okla. — Like many Green Country kids, Sadie Obana is heading back to school with a big smile, sparkly shoes, and a shiny new backpack.
However, while Sadie is dressed to fit in, she was born to stand out.
"Your differences make you special, so own it!" says Sadie.
Sadie is a spirited, smart, and unstoppable Jenks third grader. She adds, "I was born without a hand, but I can still do everything everyone else can do."
Her mom, Mandy Obana learned of the limb difference during her 20-week ultrasound. She says, "At the time, of course, it was an extreme shock, but when you learn that's the only thing that's different about her, you know it's a blessing in disguise."
A blessing that's now helping others. Sadie is a model in Kohl's new 'Back to School' clothing campaign. This season the retailer is launching a line of Adaptive clothing which is clothing that's been re-engineered for people with disabilities.
Mandy explains, "Whether they're in a wheelchair, whether they have a prosthetic, whether they have a limb difference, Adaptive clothing makes it a little bit easier. Plus, it’s also more mainstream and it looks like everyone else."
For daughter Sadie, that means Velcro fasteners replace zippers and buttons. Accessible accessories are also a must. Sadie tells us touches like soft straps on backpacks provide comfort. Sadie got a sneak peek at the new clothing line for the shoot, and didn't even have to leave home to do it.
"We were able to do it virtually because we are in a virtual world these days. They mailed us a box of clothes, we put it together, took some photos outside, sent it to them not knowing what would happen, and lo and behold, a couple of weeks ago, she showed up on their site," says Mandy.
This isn't Sadie’s first time in the spotlight. Her photo was recently in People magazine. She's also worked the Runway of Dreams in Las Vegas for Zappo's Adaptive clothing line.
"It makes me happy and want to do more things," exclaims Sadie.
While Sadie is awaiting her next gig, she's taking on a new assignment: the gifted and talented program at school.
The advice she has for other kids who are curious about people's unique differences: "I would say just ask. Don't stare and make fun. Then move on to something else."
Sadie Obana is a model and role model, ready to take on the world at only 8 years old.
"I truly believe that Sadie is unstoppable. She is a light when she enters the room and there's not anything that holds her back. So I'm just excited to see where the world takes her," says Mandy.
In addition to Kohl's, this season Target, JCPenney, and Land's End are among the big-name stores that have debuted or expanded their adaptive clothing lines.
Here’s more about Runway of Dreams, a nonprofit that works to advance the movement of Adaptive Clothing.
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