A U.S. Marine Corps veteran and amputee was dubbed the “Fan of the Game” at a recent Lakers basketball game as she chugged a beer from her prosthetic leg.
Video from the Monday Lakers game against the Indiana Pacers showed the Marine, Annika Hutsler, load up the socket of her prosthetic leg and gulp it all down live on the crypto.com arena’s jumbotron during the Lakers’ “Fan of the Game” spotlight.
Hutsler enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2017. Marine Corps Times reported Hustler planned on eventually commissioning as an officer and serving a full 20-year military career.
Hutsler’s plans were cut short about halfway through recruit training when she noticed a pain in her right foot. She initially thought it was a stress fracture and continued to push through training but about nine months later she learned that the true cause of her pain was a fast-growing tumor.
A doctor told Hustser that the tumor would mean she’d have to have her leg amputated within five to 15 years. Hutsler instead opted to have the amputation immediately.
“I had just turned 22 at the time,” she told Marine Corps Times. “I was like, I’m not going to waste my 20s knowing that I’m going to get my leg cut off. I’d rather be able to live a successful life with amputation than wait around for an amputation to happen.”
Since the amputation, Hutsler has learned to do more than just chug beers from her new leg. She has gone on to compete in a variety of adaptive sports and compete in the Department of Defense Warrior Games. She has also started modeling for popular brands.
This year, Hutsler celebrated the third anniversary of her amputation by going skydiving.