I take my second chance at life to reach the masses. I live on the mission of empowering individuals, meeting them wherever they’re at in their journey. My drive for life wasn’t always people focused though.
In 2008, I became a quadriplegic at 18 years old, paralyzed from the neck down. Although the result of a car crash, this was no freak accident, this was not out of my control. One decision of drinking and driving took away my physical independence for the rest of my life. Because of this, I am extremely passionate about bringing awareness to these devastating realities. So many people aren’t given this unique second chance, and because of that, it is my goal to prevent one destructive decision at a time.
After overcoming the anger and depression that came with the loss of my own body, I decided to pursue an undergraduate degree, majoring in human communication. I take any opportunity I can get to share my personal story of turning tragedy into hope. I'm an ordinary person having an extraordinary opportunity to relate to people of all ages.
How could I wake up every day and not help somebody else struggling? I know this life was never supposed to be about me, but unfortunately it took a life altering injury to see that. This doesn’t have to be the case for everybody though. Regardless of the trial or story, every moment we have a chance to break a negative cycle. I learned at 18 years old that it just takes one bad decision to wreck a life. I also learned, that so much hope is available when we choose to start over. I have a love for something so much greater than myself, and that’s people. There’s no one definition of life for everybody. We all face different journeys that in some of the neatest ways bring us all together.
I know firsthand what a complete shock these injuries can do to a survivor and family, so instead of remaining passive, I have chosen to take action. I not only want to create national awareness on the reality and consequences behind destructive choice making, but also continue to raise money to cover further therapeutic expenses while offering support to those affected in need. It took a cervical level spinal cord injury to get me started, but my passion is alive and it’s the hope that helps me thrive.
To read more about my journey, visit http://www.hopeloveandme.com/