A local teenager is refusing to let a life-changing injury stop her from her dream of being a rodeo star.
At 17 years old, Molly Hill was a rising rodeo star until suffering a major setback when she lost her thumb.
Her doctors said she may never be able to grip the reigns to rope and ride again, but Hill says rodeo is simply in her blood.
"When I'm on a horse I just feel like me,” Hill said. ”I love to do it. I love to be on horses. I love to have a rope in my hand."
That love of horses helped Hill become one of the top competitors in high school rodeo despite the inherent danger of the sport.
"There's always a chance, when it comes to roping, that you could lose a finger or a thumb,” Hill said. “There's always a chance, and I've known that from day one, but it never stopped me."
On Jan. 10, Hill's luck ran out.
"A coil of my rope got around my thumb,” Hill said. “That coil got tight, just like any other rope, it got tight around my thumb, and it just squeezed it right off."
Doctors were forced to amputate the tip of Hill's thumb, putting her career in doubt.
"I just recently had my fourth surgery,” Hill said. “They told me four months before I could compete again, and I was back competing in two."
Hill wasn't just competing. She was winning.
"The only thing that will stop me is when I'm dead," Hill said.
Hill had a checkup Wednesday to see if another skin graft would be needed. After her doctors appointment, she's heading to Lexington, Kentucky, to prepare for a competition over the weekend.