Zainab Edwards is an ice skater.
It runs in the family. Edwards’ mother, Cynthia Elliott, grew up on the ice in Minnesota and her older daughter skated competitively for years. So when Elliott and her husband Dave agreed to foster Edwards five days after her fourth birthday, the little girl was in skates almost immediately.
On a hot spring day in 2021, Edwards, 23, stepped gingerly onto the ice at a rink in Chandler, Arizona. The place was nearly deserted – perhaps due to COVID-19, or maybe because it was a Thursday morning. Pop music blared from the speakers as Edwards moved slowly, led by an instructor who faced her, holding both of her hands.
Edwards smiled. Elliott exhaled.
This was a good day, though the young skater did wave away a request to talk with a reporter.
Edwards has had challenges her entire life. She was born profoundly deaf. Digestive issues led to the removal of her colon; she has an ileostomy bag for life.
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