Standing Strong

Jacklynn Holst remains optimistic through her trials


Addis Sharpe, Business Manager

The first thing you notice about junior Jacklynn Holst, or Jackie as she goes by, is her smile. Then you notice that her fast pace is aided by a prosthetic leg. Students frequently question Holst about her leg. Her right leg was amputated because two bones were not the same size the doctors tried to save the knee, but could not therefore she underwent a second procedure.

“I have gone through so many prosthetics over the years. The prosthetics they had in the past were having problems. Medicaid paid for most of this, actually all of it, because of being a patient of Children’s Mercy,” Holst said.

She takes off her leg each night to go to sleep. The process of putting and removing the prosthetic off is relatively easy.

“I have a gel sock that I put on everyday. The strap goes through the two openings and I pull it tight for it to stay on and strap it down to the Velcro,” she said.

To get a new prosthetic she goes in to have her stump measured then casted or digitally made. She waits till she receives a call.

“They do adjustments if it does not fit well, if it does then I wear it home,” she said.

Her leg has not stopped her from being like everyone else.

“When I was younger I was bullied. Throughout the years it has gotten better. People that use to bully me don’t anymore. It’s like they’ve changed who they are throughout the years,” she said.

Holst remains undergoing surgeries due to her left knee.

“A year ago I had an ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] put in because I never had one. The reason I had it put in was because I was having knee pain,” she said.

Due to the surgery she missed half of a week from school.

“I will have to say being stuck in bed was not fun. I get so bored easily so it’s like I have to keep myself involved with something to keep me busy,” she said.

Though an only child she keeps busy with other relatives.

“I have cousins that treat me like I am their younger sister because I see them all the time,” she said.

As Jackie Holst grew so did her curiosity about her father. Her father left when she was two years old.

“We do not know where my father is or even if he is alive. [We know] no contact information because he basically left. He said he would come and visit me and he never showed up,” she said.

Her mother and her began searching for him when she turned 16. They remain searching for him, Holst remains optimistic that she will find him.

“I just want to know him,” she said.

When she finds a spare moment she enjoys watching movies and playing video games like Sims. She also involves herself with her church’s youth group on Sundays.

Here at East she stays active in school theatre, soccer management, softball management, choir, also Educator Rising club for students that want to become teachers in the future. Jackie participates in the club’s executive board. Not to mention in the summer she volunteers at the Olathe Library.

“I like Educators Rising Club because I got an idea of what it was like to be a teacher. I joined the club [Educators Rising Club] because I’m stuck between teaching and ministry,” she said.

She looks forward to attending a college and getting involved with the college.

“So far I have found two colleges that have what I am looking for: a dual degree K-state Manhattan I could get dual degree ministry and education degree. The other college I was thinking about was Baker University which would be closer to home and I kinda like that,” she said.

She remains very open and honest about her condition. Thanks to the aid of a TED talk Beyond the Limits. About a woman and her doctor creating a customized prosthetic foot.

“It made me think if they can do that than we can probably do that. Also it inspired me [as a hawk mentor] to talk to my freshmen about what happened to my knee.”

Her health issues have not nor will deter her from what she wants to do. She wishes that others will live to the fullest.

“I don’t feel like it [the disability] has stopped me from doing what I love to do,” she said.

She advises that students get involved and enjoy high school. She realizes that without participating in sporting management she would miss out on all the fun.

“Live your life to the fullest don’t miss out on things that will pass you by or else you will always wonder; why didn’t you do that in high school?” she said.


All photos courtesy of Jacklynn Holst


Addis Sharpe // Business Manager