Girl Born with No Hands Wins National Handwriting Contest for the Second Time


Photo Courtesy of

Anaya Ellick, a nine year old third grader from Greenbrier Christian Academy, won the Nicholas Maxim National Handwriting contest in Virginia for the second time on April 26, 2018, according to

While this may seem normal, for there is one winner every year, there is something special about Ellick; she was born without hands.  Instead, Anaya’s hands “taper down to her wrists,” according to In addition, she did not use protheses to achieve this incredible feat, causing this to be an unbelievable event.  “They [the protheses] slow me down,” stated Ellick, according to

Greenbrier Christian Academy principal, Tracy Cox, had much to say about Anaya’s victory.  “Anaya is a remarkable young lady. She does not let anything get in the way of doing what she has set out to do… She is a hard worker and has some of the best handwriting in her class. Her determination is an inspiration to all of us at GCA,” according to

According to, Anaya had always been a determined child.  As a baby, her parents state, she kept her pacifier in her mouth by cupping it in her wrists, and she early on learned how to use a fork and building blocks.  

“She’s really independent—from tying shoes, putting clothes, getting baths,” stated Gary Ellick, Anaya’s father. “[She] was always like ‘I can do it’. So, that just carried on over the years.”

Her first win in the Nicholas Maxim National Handwriting contest was when she was 7 years old, in a regular script.  Her most recent accomplishment was in a cursive script at age nine.

Her mom, Bianca Middleton states that she sometimes struggles to watch Anaya attempt a new task, and that she wants to help her daughter as much as possible.  But she also knows that Anaya wants to do everything on her own, according to

“At the playground, she climbs up ropes, scurries across the monkey bars, and swings as high as she can. Once in a while I have to remind Anaya it’s OK to ask for help,” stated Middleton.

According to, Anaya stated that she is going to try and tackle sports next.