KAYSVILLE -- "I can dance, just don't watch me because I look really funny," Kristie Christensen jokes.
Christensen, a 23-year-old Utah State University student from Kaysville, wants to dance and hike, activities she has been unable to do well because part of her leg was amputated when she was 16 months old.
Christensen would like a new prosthetic leg, but is hoping she doesn't have to pay an arm and a leg to get one.
The new leg Christensen hopes to purchase, the Plie 2.0, is a computerized leg that would enable her to dance and hike.
But at nearly $30,000, the price isn't exactly pocket change. Her current prosthetic leg is nearly seven years old -- long overdue for replacement, having outlived its expected three- to five-year life.
Like wearing a shoe that is too big, her current leg slips and slides around, worn down over the years.
When Christensen was born, her femur and tibia didn't develop normally and she had to have part of her right leg amputated.
What bothers Christensen most, however, is the expense of getting an artificial leg -- not just for her but for others in a similar situation -- in order to have a better quality of life.
"It shouldn't be that expensive, but I know they (the manufacturers) have to cover their expenses somehow," Christensen said. "There are tons of people out there that need a leg to increase their activity levels and their self-esteem."
Knowing she isn't the only one facing such a financial hurdle, in the process of raising money for her own new leg, she has decided to set up a foundation to help others pay for their new legs.
"I'd love to see it affect more people than just me," said Christensen.
Her mom, Terri Christensen, of Kaysville, isn't surprised to see her daughter wanting to help others.
"She's just that kind of girl," she said. "She realized there are a lot of people out there that need new legs, so doing a foundation just felt like the next step."
Kristie Christensen has raised $12,000 in the last couple of months with the help of her family and friends at USU, where she is a junior studying Family Consumer Human Development.
Christensen said that when she walks her heart rate is higher than most people because she has to use extra energy to move the leg. Her new leg will be programmed to help her walk and will require less exertion.
Christensen has had 12 different prosthetic legs throughout the years. Shriner's Hospital has provided the legs for her. Now that she is an adult, she is no longer eligible for the program at Shriner's Hospital.
But having to use an artificial leg hasn't slowed her down.
Christensen said she was raised never to say the words "I can't."
She participated with the Davis High School's marching band when she was a student there several years ago.
"I had to learn a different way to move my leg and how to keep up with that pace, but I was just like everybody else," said Christensen. She would get blisters on her leg where the prosthetic attached, let them heal overnight and then do it all over again the next day.
Christensen doesn't see her situation as a hindrance, but rather as a gift.
"I get to show people that you can live and be happy without shying away," said Christensen. "Just grab it by the horns and go with it."
The family of Kristie Christensen is holding an extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23 at Davis High School, 325 S. Main St., Kaysville, to help raise funds for her new leg. Activities include a raffle, cake walk, fish pond, horse rides, various booths and food vendors.