I’m not a risk taker because I walk with forearm crutches in stilettos. I’m a risk taker because I decided I could do anything I set my mind to.
The first time I pushed the envelope, I was five years old.
I said to my parents and to my physical therapist “no I don’t want to be in a wheelchair – I want to walk”. I was diagnosed at nine months and by the time I was nine years old I’d broken my femur bone ten times. And with every single break, I’d get more and more deformities – which ultimately caused my hips and pelvis to be fully deformed and therefore I stand on the shorter side. At the age of eight years old I was fully grown at 4’2 and I’m still four foot two. And guess what – I’m still standing tall! (Well, not that tall!)
My parents were very young when I was diagnosed, 27 and 32, but they created this energy and personality about them that was very strong. It was, we’re not going to give up and you’re going to be part of every step. We’re going to find whatever we can and take her wherever we need to take her to give her the life that she deserves.
I’m eternally grateful for the example they set from the beginning.
While I am not a parent today, I am the product of parents who cared for me and all the challenges that came with my rare disease. With any issue that your child might have, whether it be a physical and or mental disability, the risk taker and unstoppable mindset starts at home. This is where they learn their attitude and outlook on the world. They hear your voice, your tone, and how you treat them. If you’re nervous, afraid of them, or consistently tell them NO – they will not only be afraid of themselves, but think that using the NO in all situations is okay vs. saying I can and will succeed.
Remember, set up your child for success with a voice they can honor through their entire life.
Be bold and not afraid, trust me they can handle it.
No matter where I am, people look at me and say ‘you’re absolutely incredible – walking with crutches and still in stilettos – how do you do that?’.
But walking in stilettos doesn’t make me a risk taker.
It actually makes me feel better about myself. What makes me an innovator is living my truth by never allowing anyone to dictate my life’s direction. Plus to be brutally honest, I truly believe stilettos give me more stability (not a doctor in the world would agree with me), but if I feel more stable, then I am more stable. That’s the real risk.
It’s as simple as that. Believe you can do it, and then do it. Be a risk taker. Be unstoppable.
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