On, June 7, 2004 my husband and I dropped our daughter off at the babysitter and headed off toward Lamaze class. As we came up over a hill on a gravel road we saw a stop sign at the bottom of the hill. We tried to stop, but we were on gravel. So, we slid through the stop sign and out onto Route 66 and were t-boned by a suburban coming down the highway at highway speeds. Needless to say, our little Ford Taurus was no match for the Suburban. I was the only one involved in the accident with serious injuries. I'd try to list them all, but I would most certainly forget something. I had a TBI (traumatic brain injury), nerve damage, broken and displaced pelvis, and multiple other injuries. This led to the emergency c-section of our son 10 1/2 weeks early, 3 months in the hospital in Tulsa, OK, and beginning a new life with a wheelchair.
|My side of the car|
|Heading Home to Begin My"New Normal"|
In 2006, I first learned about Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and decided to compete. At this point, I had met no strong, positive women in wheelchairs and was excited to find a community to help me adjust to my "new normal." Well, I had such a great time and met all these amazing women that I wanted to stay involved. Living in Western Kansas, I didn't think the steering committee was a possibility for me. So, in 2007, I competed again and came back to see all these amazing women again. The competition was not the part that grabbed my heart and I decided I did not need a crown to be a role model and advocate in my community. The women had been telling me that all along, but now I finally got it. So, I went home and did my best to be a positive role model and example for all I met, I just happen to do it from my wheelchair. I had finally figured out my wheelchair did not define who I was, it just happened to be how I got around. I stayed involved with the Ms. Wheelchair Program and looked forward to helping out with the Crowning Ceremony every year.
The weekend proved the adage, "Third Times the Charm." I knew it would either prove that or "Three Strikes And You're Out." :) I am thrilled to find out what the year ahead will hold. Join me on this journey.