Rebekah Marine, 25, of Galloway Township, is stunningly beautiful. But she had been told by a modeling agency that a career in the field wasn’t possible, because she is a congenital amputee. She was born missing her right hand and arm below the elbow.

About a year ago, a photographer friend took some shots of her and posted them online.

“I got overwhelmingly positive feedback,” Marine said.

Now the amputee community is embracing her as a model. She just got back from Los Angeles, where she auditioned for a role as an amputee character in a movie.

She has been photographed in Germany by ampworld.de, a group that promotes amputee models.

“They found me on Facebook and flew me out, and paid for all my expenses,” Marine said. “I connected with a lot of people all over the world who are amputees.”

She has also done traditional modeling, such as bridal shoots on Long Beach Island.

Marine has a degree in advertising from Rowan University and calls herself a “big computer geek.” She has done website design and social media for a car dealer in Camden County, and works at Celina’s Cafe in Galloway.

Doctors don’t know what caused her birth defect, she said. Her mom, Maria Marine, works at AtlantiCare in Galloway Township, and brother Matthew Marine, 29, of Smithville, works in IT at Cape Regional Medical Center, she said.

“My dream is to go to schools and do public speaking about embracing insecurities, and not letting people tell you where you are going to be in life,” she said. Visit Marine’s Facebook fan page at facebook.com/rebekahamarine.

Help heaven-sent

Bruce Berry, of Ocean City, didn’t know where to begin in cleaning up his 22-slip Dock of the Bay marina in Ocean City after Hurricane Sandy. He was almost paralyzed by the size of the job in early November, until a group of volunteers from the Church of Coastal Christian in Ocean City appeared. Berry said the group put in hours of cleanup help and only asked for hugs in return.

“There may be similar stories ... but this had to be said. Thanks again to everyone,” Berry said.

Nurse of the Year

South Jersey Healthcare’s Administrative Director of Cardiac Care, Michele Zucconi, has been honored by Nurse.com Nursing Spectrum as a 2012 National Nurse of the Year award recipient for patient and staff management, a hospital representative said.

Everyone Has a Story appears Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

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