I work with a lot of newly injured quadriplegics who simply cannot see the forest beyond the trees. I was one of those individuals for many years despite working professionally I pretty much kept my head down, engaged in rehab, and mentally floated through years of my life with no direction.
I simply could not find my purpose in life. I have always been bubbly, positive, and pleasant – yet I was slowly dying on the inside. To be fair, I spent the first six years after my spinal cord injury in and out of hospitals with pulmonary embolism’s, cervical cancer, life-threatening cysts in my spinal cord, debilitating pressure sores leaving me in bed for years on and off with multiple surgeries, to name a few. I have some friends who are quadriplegics who never seem to have any medical complications, but I was not one of those people. Lucky me!
The culmination of my life’s work thus far to being crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022 in November 2021 is one of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, determination, support, and unrelenting determination. Frankly, when you sustain or are born with a life altering physical disability I have no doubt most people will likely have their own version of how they overcame and learned to thrive in life despite the obstacles constantly thrown in front of them.
People frequently question how I have arrived to where I am today to be a professional, disability advocate, mentor, and a ferociously “Pleasantly Persistent” woman with the motto: “NO is just a starting negotiation point.”