spinal cord injury survivor


The Story:
 Tasha was a “happy go lucky” kid living in a small town in Wisconsin. She was very involved in sports and clubs and in the community, as her parents owned the local grocery store. In high school, she found her place as an aspiring actress. As just a sophomore in high school, she got the lead role of Sandy in “Grease.” A week before the final performance, the cast and crew was working on a scene change that was taking too long. Tasha was moving out of the way as a set piece was moved across her path. She took a step back and fell sixteen feet to a cement floor; somebody had removed a trapdoor in the stage and Tasha suffered the unintended consequences.

In the hospital, the doctors prepared Tasha’s family for the worst: she may not make it. Her C5 vertebrae had shattered and severed her spinal cord. As they performed surgery, all of Tasha’s organs were shutting down and her heart was working overtime to try and keep her alive. She was unconscious for eight days and it was thought that even if she woke up, she would be in a vegetative state.

The Inspiration:
Not only did Tasha wake up, she woke up with a fully functioning brain. However, she was paralyzed from the chest down. For a teenage girl in the prime of life, this was devastating news. However, Tasha decided to live. She says in one of the videos on her website that “a positive attitude can do wonders” and she sometimes feels “like the happiest person in the world.” After her time in recovery, Tasha went back to high school and received her diploma. She then finished college with a degree in communication with a minor in music.

Today, Tasha travels around speaking in churches, schools, correctional facilities and in front of various organizations. Her goal is to inspire and transform lives. She won Mrs. Wheelchair Wisconsin and then went on to be crowned 2012’s Ms. Wheelchair USA.  Most recently, Tasha got engaged to the love of her life, Doug, and is busy planning the wedding. She also recently published her book, My Last Step Backwards, and is busy travelling around and doing book signings. As Tasha keeps up her positive attitude every single day, nothing is getting in her way from embracing life to the fullest.

Learn More:
Visit Tasha’s website to hear more about her upcoming appearances and book signings or to buy her book, My Last Step Backwards: www.tashaschuh.com.

Also, visit Tasha’s blog to read her own updates on her life, her love, and her work: http://blog.tashaschuh.com/.

Don’t forget to check out Tasha in the below video either!


The Story:

Travis Roy was just your typical boy from Yarmouth, Maine. His father was a hockey coach and his love for the sport blossomed at a young age. By the time he reached high school, he was being sought after by the most prominent college hockey programs in the country. Roy finally decided to attend Boston University as a Terrier and he was in his element. After a long season of grueling practices, Travis got his shot at starting his first collegiate game. Eleven seconds in, his promising career was stopped short as he slammed into the sideboards, cracking his fourth vertebrae and becoming paralyzed from the neck down. Travis Roy would have to start over in foreign circumstances. However, as he says in his talks, his time as a hockey player helped give him the drive and the grit to reevaluate and persevere.

The Inspiration:

One of Travis’ best quotes is that “sometimes we choose our challenges, and at other times our challenges choose us.” Travis decided that there was a reason he became a quadriplegic and he has made the best of it. After intensive physical therapy, Travis went back to school at Boston University and got his degree in four years. Right out of college he started the Travis Roy foundation and started raising money for research into the realm of spinal cord injuries. He also uses the funds to help individuals with spinal cord injuries reach their goals.

As he was adjusting to life as a quadriplegic, Travis faced more challenges than most people can imagine. He managed to make his way to an independent, fulfilling life. He says that one of his favorite things is sitting on the porch of his family’s lake house and just taking in the beauty of the landscape. As many setbacks as he’s faced, Travis maintains that “this challenge chose him” and he has accepted with enthusiasm. His critically acclaimed book, Eleven Seconds; A Story of Tragedy, Courage & Triumph, is reviewed on this site and details his life surrounding the accident.

Learn More:

All you need to know about Travis Roy is on his website, including his story, his mission, event dates, and more.

Travis Roy Foundation website: