Just two months prior to her 19th birthday, Mallory Weggemann went in to receive her third and final epidural injection to help treat back pain caused by postherpetic neuralgia. The epidural injections that were supposed to help with the debilitating pain instead left Weggemann a paraplegic with complete loss of movement from her abdomen down. But instead of focusing on the life she lost, she did the incredible, creating a new life for herself. Within four months of her paralysis, Weggemann was back in the swimming pool, and less than four years later had set 15 world records and 34 American records as well as proceeded to win gold and bronze medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
In addition to competing internationally and training for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Weggemann is an international speaker, delivering messages that are not only inspirational, but also offer valuable lessons in leadership, attitude and survival in the face of tremendous odds.
Mallory’s story is told through her personal reflections and journal entries throughout her ordeal; it is also a challenge to each of us as we consider the ways that we handle disappointments and setbacks in our own lives. In a voice that has inspired audiences as varied as high school students to Fortune 100 executives, Weggemann engages in an intimate and honest dialogue. From the raw emotions of her earliest journal entries to the jubilant celebration of each triumph of independence and accomplishment along the way, Weggemann chronicles her personal writings and emotions as she found herself submerged in a new life – and rose to emerge infinitely stronger, tougher and freer than she ever was before.
It is with tremendous enthusiasm and genuine frankness that Mallory Weggemann shares her story – a story she insists is still unfolding – with the world. Her journey did not begin or end with the day she was paralyzed. That was merely one event among many in her life that has shaped but not defined her. The same, she insists, is true for any one of us. Whatever circumstances we face that may handicap us, we all choose daily whether we will allow those limitations to have power over us or whether we will face down our challenges in a journey towards our own new mobility.
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