Mia Schaikewitz is one of the stars of the hit reality TV show, Push Girls. As a vibrant young girl she was a competitive swimmer, when at just 15 years old, her life was changed forever. A ruptured blood vessel in her spinal cord (AVM) left her paralyzed from the waist down, but has not stopped her.
Mia takes us through the day when the blood vessel ruptured. At that time, there was a 2 year window where doctors hoped she could regain some feeling in her lower body.
“So, there was hope at the time, but it was also about facing reality.” #Inspiring #KirstyTV
Fortunately, she lived in Atlanta, Georgia where they have the Shepherd Center–one of the best rehab facilities for spinal cord injuries in the country. From the moment she walked into the hospital, they told her that she could have the life she wanted and remain independent.
Initially, Mia was very depressed and angry. For the first two weeks at the rehab hospital, she couldn’t even sleep and was dealing with anxiety. Slowly but surely, she began to accept her new life. The doctors told her that she would be able to have children, play sports and be independent. That’s all she needed to change her attitude about it and prepare to work on the skills that would get her there.
Accepting her new situation didn’t mean that she was giving up on walking again. It was a stepping stone into become who she really was. Mia talks more about how she is really happy.
“A lot of people want to cure everyone, thinking, ‘Oh, I see a defect in them, let me fix it.'” #KirstyTV
People that don’t know how she’s dealt with paralysis may see it as the most difficult thing in her life, but she doesn’t see it that way.
“Being different on the outside allows me to tell my story more often and connect with people.” #KirstyTV
Mia talks about the rehab experience and how difficult it was at times. She encourages people to find just one thing that they can focus on. She talks about building the strength to lift her body in order to be independent. It took her 3 months to be able to regain her strength.
Her biggest fear after leaving the rehab facility was not fitting in anymore in her high school. Much to her surprise, her peers didn’t even care about the chair. They were just happy to see her. One person said, “It’s still Mia, she’s just sitting down.” And it was those moments that made her realize that we all are more than our circumstances.
“I don’t see the wheel chair as an obstacle, I see it as a challenge. Challenge is something that fuels me. I think all of us have this need to accomplish something. Challenges give us those opportunities to accomplish something.”
If Mia could talk to her teen self who was lost of hope and anxious about her future, she would say, “Don’t give up hope. Don’t give up hope.”
Follow Mia on Twitter at @MiaSchaikewitz
For more inspiring true stories, check out Tracy Broughton’s, former Ms. America, mother, entrepreneur, speaker and advocate for people with disabilities has moved mountains with her faith. And Sam Cawthorn who shares with us how he decided to stop listening to doctors who told him that he couldn’t walk again and wouldn’t play the guitar again. He learned that it is our DECISION not our condition.
Stay tuned to www.KirstyTV.com for more exclusive and uplifting interviews. We will be sharing inspirational stories from everyday people, celebrities and experts every week. You can also subscribe to the KirstyTV Talk Show Podcast on iTunes.