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“I grew up believing that my entire life would be dedicated to the performing arts.  Now, I’m also a survivor and “thriver” of sexual abuse, 27 surgeries, coma, organ failure, and the PTSD that comes from ten years of trauma – or what I now call my “beautiful detour.”

At 18, years old, a blood clot caused my body to go into septic shock.  I was in a coma for six months, and after a total gastrectomy, I was unable to eat or drink a drop of water for six of the past ten years.  After 27 surgeries, I was miraculously reconnected with the intestines I had left.  To persevere through those tumultuous years took great inner and outer strength – strength I didn’t know I was capable of until I was tested.

I learned that the human spirit feeds off of hope, and hope is fuel we can cultivate ourselves.  Ultimately, I learned that with resourcefulness, creativity, and unwavering curiosity, we can transform any adversity into personal growth and a resilience that is uniquely ours.

Everything became possible once I was willing to intentionally wander from the life I planned and embrace this “detour” as an opportunity for discovery. This is not the life that I planned for myself – but does anyone’s life ever work out exactly how they plan it?

“I was not able to fully appreciate the beauty of my detours until I was able to share them. As a performer, all I’ve wanted to do was give back to the world.  But now I have an even greater gift to give: a story to tell.”

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