The Full Story
To begin, I want to thank you for allowing me to share my story with you and for being invested in creating space for others to share their stories. Throughout my life, God has blessed me with adverse roads to walk and steep mountains to summit. From lifelong heart complications, Multiple Sclerosis diagnoses, and a history plagued with domestic violence, my path could be described as perilous or cursed. But I say blessed because I look at these events as intentionally leading me and preparing me for up to this moment and this space I currently find myself in: Stretching into my purpose.
As I reflect on my story, the path that has led me here was jumpstarted when I was 17. I set out to lose 160 pounds and accomplished this goal through sheer will and grit (and maybe a bit of stubbornness). Shedding this weight hurled me into a reality of heart complications resulting in six heart surgeries, two pacemakers, and a failed ablation. However, I have never let the physical aliments limit me and have followed my passion for fitness in becoming a health and fitness coach.
God, in His infinite love for me, blessed me with my beautiful daughter. Becoming a mother to this curious, intelligent, and kind girl was exactly what my life needed. When she was 2 years old, both my legs went numb and after several trips to the ER, I was diagnosed with MS. As I reflect, this diagnosis is as much of a demonstration of God’s infinite love for me as my daughter is. After being diagnosed, my only option was to fight-not just for me, but for her- with no limits, and my path was solidified.
I developed my mantra that keeps me fighting with the same strength and vigor every day that “PAIN IS TEMPORARY.” It’s the journey of discovering new depths of this mantra and how it manifests for those around me, that lights me up and keeps me going. I get up every day and FIGHT WARS against the unknown. Swallowing the reality of current MS prognosis’ and navigating the slew of symptoms that accompany the disease is a heavy enough weight to carry around and fight against. Framing my daughter within that reality-my reality- and what that means for her; waking up every day into a reality that I may not see my beautiful daughter's face again, that is a pill I’m not ready to swallow. The odds of that reality coming true, and the modern MS prognosis is what keeps a fire lit under me to live my mantra every single day.
We live in a world that thrives on fear and has fine-tuned weaponizing human emotion and vulnerability. The world we live in functions assuming that we as humans default to all of defaults to prey on the fear and default limited thrives on fear and limiting our options, but I see this as an opportunity. I have been told to live carefully because of my disabilities. To me, these limitations are a challenge to overcome! My purpose here on earth is not to live cautiously but to defy odds through showing that anything is possible through strength, commitment and support!