Frida Kahlo is Diagnosed with Polio

Frida had three sisters, and though her status as daddy’s favorite set her apart from the others, her affliction with polio beginning in 1913 would forever mark her as different.

After she healed, Frida was left with a withered right leg that she covered with pants and long skirts. During her recuperation, her father lavished attention on his favorite child, who had once been an energetic tomboy. He helped Frida exercise and, in an attempt to find ways of entertaining her, he gave his daughter some paints.

Around the age of 6, she contracted polio, which caused her to be bedridden for nine months. While she did recover from the illness, she limped when she walked because the disease had damaged her right leg and foot. Her father encouraged her to play soccer, go swimming, and even wrestle—highly unusual moves for a girl at the time—to help aid in her recovery.

At age 6, Frida is struck with polio affecting the use of her right leg. Her leg grew very thin, and her foot was stunted in its growth. During her nine month convalescence, her father made sure that she regularly exercised the muscles in her leg and foot. Despite their efforts, her leg and foot remained deformed. Frida attempts to hide it by wearing pants, long skirts or two pairs of sock on her right foot.

(Note: Frida's medical records are very vague so it's uncertain as to whether Frida was actually afflicted with polio or a similar condition called "white tumor".)

Frida attends classes at a German elementary school, "Colegio Aleman" in Mexico City. She is cruelly nicknamed "peg-leg Frida" by her classmates.