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Scuba diver teaches children about sea life, lesson in compassion

Ashley Mae Sherman scuba diver at Sea Life Aquarium

ORLANDO, Fla. – A scuba diver missing the lower part of her arm is teaching children at an aquarium about sea creatures with a lesson about compassion.

"You were born with blue eyes, I was born with green eyes, you were born with two hands, and I was born with one," Ashley Mae Sherman, a scuba diver at Sea Life Aquarium said. 

Born without the lower part of her right arm, Sherman said she was bullied in middle school.

"I used to always hide my arm, I would hide it behind my back, I would wear long sleeve shirts and kind of put it in my sweater pocket," Sherman told News 6 anchor Kirstin O'Connor.

Diving in front of hundreds of kids a week, Sherman said she gets plenty of questions about her arm. With the help of an online support network called the Lucky Fin Project, she's using themes from the popular Disney Pixar movie "Finding Nemo" to tell her story.

"It's a really good way to explain to kids especially when they ask me, well, Nemo has a Lucky Fin, and so do I," Sherman said.

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About a year ago, Sherman started working with Level Four Orthotics & Prosthetics in Lake Mary where she received a bionic arm. Since then she said she has been sharing her story and the new technology with elementary schools and occupational therapy students at local hospitals.

"When I was growing up social media wasn't as big, people didn't share their story as much, so I felt like I was the only one in the entire world that was missing a limb," Sherman said.

Videos on her Facebook page show Sherman riding horses, dancing and most recently, scuba diving.

"I had the dream of being a scuba diver and diving in an aquarium and look where I am now," Sherman said.


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