Last October, a charming young photographer was in a hit and run accident that left her paralyzed from mid-chest down. Her name is Rachael Short and I had the honor of meeting her at my high school reunion last summer--a mere 3 months before her life changing accident. I'm inspired by her today for several reasons:
First of all, she struck me as so very confident and loving when I first met her because she came to a gathering of her boyfriend's old friends. Daunting? I'd say. You know how friends seem to adopt a sort of linguistic shorthand? It's not easy for the newbie. But Rachael just jumped right in and impressed us all.
Secondly, immediately after her accident, she asked her photographer friend to come to the hospital. When the nurses went to check on whether or not pictures were allowed, Rachael had her friend start shooting so she could document as much of the event as possible. That takes courage. I'm sure I'd be asking the nurses to secure more pain meds but Rachael was simply taking charge of a seemingly hopeless situation.
And lastly, the community that has gathered around Rachael, rolling up their sleeves to chip in to make a difference, has to be a testament to the woman herself. A recent benefit in her California town raised over $100,000 for her. And now two teams are running in the Big Sur International Marathon Relay on May 1 to raise money for Rachael.
Rachael's spirit has not seemed to dim one iota since her accident. I'm sure she has her up days and down days. She is human after all. But I, for one, am inspired by her sense of humor, her poise and her dedication to her own dream. When I look at her photos, I can see that this is a girl who doesn't take life lightly but sees it with eyes wide open and reaches for it with both hands.
Please take a moment to check out Rachael's Recovery blog and watch the video a friend made about her. The video is short and completely worth it if only the see the happiness in Rachael's face when she says she can now pick her nose again. And if you are interested in donating to the racing teams, check out this site.
And while you're at it, take at look at Rachael's photography.
My last request? Spread the word. . .