In chapter one, we learned at the height of Grace's teen life as an all-star athlete, her life was hit with tragedy. During a basketball game, she was knocked to the floor and soon became a quadriplegic.
"I’ve imagined what life would be like if I had never sustained my spinal injury – if I wasn’t mostly confined to a wheelchair. I remember that my Mom was going to make shrimp Gorgonzola for dinner the night I collapsed. I’ve imagined me walking out of the car into the house after practice and eating that dinner. I’ve imagined graduating high school never having sat in a wheelchair. But whether you call it fate, or karma, or God, there was another plan for my life.
Over the last three and a half years, I have often had others ask how I ended up in a wheelchair. I’ve told my story countless times. The typical response from well-meaning others is generally something like, “I’m so sorry. Oh My Gosh that’s awful”. But you know what? It is not awful. Maybe it has taken me three and a half years to get to this place, but I can honestly say, it is not awful. I believe I was specifically put in this place because I have the determination and focus to overcome and along the way, I can help others. I believe that even when something bad happens to you, you can still strive for your dreams and your goals in life.
All-in-all, if I were to summarize what I wish others to gain from hearing my story, my hopes are these: that in the midst of struggles, whatever they may be, do not lose sight of your goals; do not let obstacles stop you from doing everything you wish; and finally, don’t listen to the negative. I know, from personal experience, that there will be naysayers. I was told by many I would never walk again. I was told that my chance of walking again was less than five percent. But yet three years after my collapse I walked across the stage on my high school graduation day and received my diploma. Miracles happen, but often they take focus, hard work, and persistence to happen. Today, I’m attending Missouri State University. I live on campus. I can walk with a walker and with braces. I continue to improve with physical therapy. I am an independent college student with plans to someday travel the world.
I read a great picpost on Pinterest that I’ve kept as a motto for myself. It read, 'Life is like an arrow, whenever it pulls you back it’s getting ready to launch you into something great.' My hope to others is that they let their arrow fly."