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‘I was awake, shaking in fetal position under a fence with my spinal chord split in half. ‘You need to start funeral arrangements. She won’t make it till morning.’: Paralyzed woman celebrates life after forced into motorcycle police chase

“He was drinking a lot and took some pills. I was forced onto his bike and he took off very fast, driving recklessly. Terrified, I clung to him. A cop quickly pulled behind us. He sped off at 100 mph. That’s when it happened. I didn’t wake up until a month and a half later. ‘This can’t be real.’ I was heartbroken with a pain I’d never felt before. ‘Where are my babies?!’ When they came to visit, they wouldn’t even come near me. They couldn’t recognize me anymore.”

‘I fell straight through the attic to the concrete garage floor. Cheated on for years, all I could do was wonder, ‘Why? How long before he decides to move on?’: After accident, woman says husband has ‘shown me what real love looks like’

“Life seemed perfect. Everything was falling into place. Then a tragic, freak accident changed everything. ‘Your bones resemble a scrambled jigsaw puzzle.’ I am learning to walk again. ‘Whatever happens, we are in this together.’ He had to lift me up, carry me around, bathe me, and feed me. His life changed just as much as mine did.”

‘I went on countless job interviews, but I didn’t ‘look the part.’ The second they saw me, the whole vibe changed.’: Woman with Nemaline Rod Myopathy embraces disability, ‘I want to be seen for the smart, fun, boss babe that I am’

“After graduation, I was excited to take on the world! That feeling quickly died. Every employer assumed I wasn’t qualified. I didn’t have a specific ‘look,’ or I didn’t fit the part. I realized I didn’t want to work someplace where I would be judged by the way I look, not by the work I contribute. Appearances matter, but they matter even more when you’re disabled. And the hardest part about being disabled isn’t being disabled. It’s fighting to be seen as an equal.”

‘You’re not special enough to be my girlfriend.’ I cried. He was embarrassed by my prosthetics.’: Amputee learns to own her uniqueness, ‘My life isn’t normal, but I wouldn’t have it any other way’

“The technician noticed something wrong with my legs. They were shaped like a boomerang. I only had 3 toes on each foot. My feet were turned inwards and pointed down, and my ankles couldn’t rotate. The doctors gave my parents a choice: ‘Amputate her legs or never let her walk.’ When I got pregnant, I wasn’t physically prepared for what was to come. I had no idea how it would affect my body, let alone my prosthetics. I was terrified.”

‘So she’ll always be sick?’ I leave the office with an answer but no cure. ‘I’m not dying. I’m just 16 and past my prime.’: Chronic illness warrior battles lupus and fibromyalgia

“’Maybe if I drank bleach,’ I think. I feel so dirty, tired and stiff. ‘Maybe if I turned inside-out and scrubbed my veins out with soap.’ Surely the disease would be eradicated. I’m supposed to find out today. I tap my foot. ‘Remember to breathe, you have to breathe, just breathe.’ Dr. Box settles into his rolling chair. ‘So she’ll always be sick?’ ‘Yes, but we caught it early.’ Yesterday, I dropped my hairbrush. I couldn’t finish. My hair is still knotted in the back. Last week, I passed out briefly, stepping out of the shower. And this was an improvement.”

‘I plummeted 3 stories from my apartment balcony. My hand grazed the railing. I tried to catch myself, but it was too late.’: Woman paralyzed after faulty balcony accident, ‘I take each day with gratitude’

“The surgeon explained, ‘Your spine is a mush. You’ll be lucky if you wake up functioning.’ I couldn’t feel from the neck down. ‘Have I been in a car accident?’ No one had the heart to tell me. I just kept thinking, ‘Eh, I’ll be alright. They don’t know what they’re talking about.’ I cried and swept it under the rug. Little did I know, my body was a newborn again. I learned what dead weight felt like. I’d hear, ‘Oh, that’s sad. She’s so beautiful.’ My life turned upside down.”

‘You need to have it looked at, and quickly!’ My heart dropped. I went from a ‘normal’ person to being disabled.’: Young woman survives rare bone cancer twice, ‘Cancer taught me to live each day like it’s my last’

“’How could I have bone cancer at age 25?!’ I called my mom immediately after, sobbing in my car. She was shocked. I was finally able to get married after delaying my wedding, but I still had persistent pain. The surgeon said, ‘We cannot be sure if some cancer was left behind.’. It taught me to cherish every day I have on this earth. Things can change in a blink of an eye.”

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