Excerpt from: Disability Blog (click for full article)
The media was soon captivated by our story. My email was flooded with interview requests and the phone was ringing off the hook! I thought surely people were only interested in my desire to persevere and this intense and rare story of love. But they were also interested in the best friend. They wanted to know who did it. I was appalled that anyone would ask me something like that. There was no respect for the fact that this girl was suffering emotionally. The accident didn’t just happen to me; it happened to the both of us. I didn’t blame my friend, so why was the media being so judgmental? That situation has been the most difficult part of the accident. I never had any anger toward my friend, as it was just an accident and the roles could have easily been reversed.
I’ve gotten letters from all around the world from people who are so impressed with Chris and me, but they don’t know our whole story. I do think they are curious to know the dynamics of our relationship and the reality of our lives. The life of someone with paralysis is so foreign to many, especially the life of someone with paralysis like I have. I go out with my friends in sexy dresses, I play wheelchair sports, I’m intimate and confident. But the media did sort of depict the situation as if Chris and I never had bad moments, as if I’d never broken down, cried and wished for everything to just stop and go back to the way things were before. I do have these sad, negative and dark moments, but I choose not to define my life by them. Someone will always have it worse than you.
I’ve decided to live life as best I can. I play wheelchair rugby, and I’ve tried handcycling, waterskiing and surfing! My new goal is to get back into tennis, a sport I played for 20 years. I also plan on continuing my fight to bring awareness to spinal cord injuries through public speaking. Things will never be the same. When things get hard, I try to think about all of the things that were NOT taken from me. I still have my friendships and the love of my life. And I’m SO thankful every day for that.