Paralyzed Houston teen gains her strength through weight lifting

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston girl who is paralyzed from the waist down is showing her true strength.

Elena Porras was born with stage three neuroblastoma, which is a rare type of cancerous tumor that is commonly found in the adrenal glands.

"She had to go through six months of chemotherapy and a 13-hour surgery at Texas Children's Hospital, and then they let us know that she was paralyzed," said Elena's mom, Juliet Porras.

The mother told ABC13 Eyewitness News that things got rough when Elena grew older. One of the biggest struggles for the mom was lifting Elena daily.

"She was only 60 pounds at the time, but I knew I needed to do something," said Juliet.

The mom teamed up with Crystal Flores, a trainer at Life Time, for an intense Olympic weight lifting program called "Alpha Strong."

"You'll see all different elements of fitness, so gymnastics, strength power, speed, endurance and agility," Flores said.

The workouts are not only making Elena strong, but they are also helping her gain her independence and a new outlook on life.

"If you were to ask her what her dream is, she'd say she wants to do ballet," said Juliet. "She's paralyzed, so she's the type of kid that lives in a world and believes all is possible. She's remarkable."

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