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LIVES IN Black Hawk, Colorado
CURRENTLY WORKING AS Full-time Community Outreach Facilitator, Part-time Endurance Coach
DEVELOPED FOOT DROP AS RESULT OF a brutal home invasion, which also caused Traumatic Brain Injury (“Intracranial basal ganglia hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma”) and Hemiparesis (“right-side paralysis”), Ataxia and Hypertonia
CURRENTLY WEARS Allard BlueROCKER™ 2.0 with the ComfortKIT™ interface and BOA closures in place of straps
PROUDEST MOMENTS WHILE WEARING ALLARD BlueROCKER™ are finishing 2017 Boulder Half Ironman, becoming 2018 National Champion in Women’s C2 Paracycling Division and flying a small airplane with one hand
FAVORITE MESSAGE IS “Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.”
FUN FACT: I loves roller coasters and Oreo cookies!
Life is one big adventure. That’s how I’m treating my disability. Six years ago, my husband was stationed in Guam while in the Navy. I was there with him. We were living life to the fullest; mountain biking, running races, hiking, exploring, and competing in triathlons.
I was home alone one night when there was a knock at the door. I answered to find three big, angry men at the door. I tried to defend the homestead, but there was only one of me. One of the guys hit me over the head with his gun and beat me so badly that I was left on the floor to die. Luckily, my husband came home several hours later and found me just in time.
One of the first things the doctors noticed was that I was going to need a brace for my lower right leg/foot. They outfitted me with a hard plastic AFO. It allowed me to walk again, but that’s about it. It was very medical-looking and it’s silly but I felt like a medical experiment wearing it. I began doing research on what brace I could run and bike in before I could even walk again. My husband Sam joined me in this endeavor. Finally, we found the Allard BlueROCKER. ® Then I found GetBackUPToday.com, where I connected with athletes who had challenges like I did.
Walking, eating, and speaking are all second nature to most people, but I had to relearn all of these. The BlueROCKER® gave me one less thing to worry about while I made these significant adaptations to my life. It allowed my therapists to focus on my balance so that I could build up my endurance, get back up on my bicycle, regain proper gait, and learn to run again.
Three years after that horrible night, I competed in the Boulder Half-Ironman and am currently National Champion in Women’s C2 paracycling. After getting my BlueROCKER®, my right foot felt more mobile. The brace reignited the fire of athletics in me.
There are certain points in life that change you. This was that point for me. I was just becoming a true competitor in the world of triathlon when I was shaken to the core. I did not know how to live with a disability. No one I knew had ever competed with a disability before. I’d never even heard of hemiplegia, and now I have it. But with my Allard BlueROCKER®, I am not just alive – I am living again. Life really is one big adventure.