Being a C-1 C-2 quadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator can be challenging at times. Despite my disability I strive to find ways to be positive, live life to its fullest, overcome obstacles, help people and most of all educate others. I’ve always loved teaching and helping people, but after my car accident November 1, 2002 it became prevalent that this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life.
In 2006 I started motivational speaking; my first engagement was to a class of about 30 high school students. Since then, I’ve been telling my story to anyone and everyone I meet. I have had the privilege to speak at over 20 different engagements to a variety of populations being able to change my story and message for each. This includes speaking to various high schools about destructive driving, educating children at elementary schools about people with disabilities, and talking to the injured about staying positive. My favorite (and most impactful) was a 15 min. speech to about 1200 high school students and teachers after a mock car crash just before prom.
When I received an e-mail mid-March about the Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011 contest, I immediately felt the need to fill out an application. I thought to myself, “what an opportunity to show others the abilities of people with disabilities” and “this would be the biggest way I could educate others about people in similar situations as me.” Read more
I have been using my stander 2 to 3 times a week. Every time is different with how many degrees I’m able to get up to. My goal every time is 90°. In the past couple months though, I haven’t been able to get up past 60 or 70°. And it usually takes me about half an hour to get there. My body just isn’t as tolerant as it used to be with standing. If I go too high, my blood pressure drops and I start to see black spots. Then I have to go back down immediately. Read more