"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." ~C.S. Lewis
I was born and raised in North Carolina as the only child of a singer and single mother named Diana. Our lives changed drastically one February night after we were in an accident that completely crushed us inside of our car. At only 10 years old, I was told that I had a T-10 spinal cord injury and would never walk again. My circumstances (along with a highly judgmental community) led me to believe that living an enjoyable and purposeful life with a disability would be impossible.
After living my teenage years in a cloud of shame, my 20-year-old self decided to spend a year “fear-chasing”, AKA, pursuing any activity that scared me as far out of my comfort zone as possible. This included driving around the country alone, checking off every possible bucket-list adrenaline sport I could think of, competing for (and winning) Miss Wheelchair USA, and launching a career as a speaker and actress. This eventually lead me to accomplish things like speaking to the Senate, delivering a TEDx talk, establishing a nonprofit that distributes wheelchairs around the world, and making history as the first woman in a wheelchair to win a title in the Miss USA system. My most recent fear-chaser has been moving to Los Angeles in order to work as the lead actress in a movie!
I share my journey because I want to reach every one of you out there who feels just as ashamed, scared and judged as I did - that feeling doesn’t have to last forever, and I hope to show you how to use those challenges to fuel your journey to make a badass impact on this world!