Contributor Bio: Maria

My name is Maria. I am 37 years old, and I am from Hazlehurst, Georgia. I grew up with two wonderful parents and two sisters. I was very active as a child and have always enjoyed traveling and being outdoors. My parents always thought I would grow up to be a comedian, but I had other plans in mind. I graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development. I later obtained my teaching certificate from Brewton Parker University. After college I began my career as a pre-k teacher. I have spent ten wonderful years in the classroom, and teaching is truly my passion. I have two children-- Dylan age 10 and Rylie Brooke age 5. I have been married for 13 years to my high school sweetheart, Shane.

In 2011, on my way to work, I was in a horrific car accident that left me not only paralyzed from the waist down but also riddled with numerous serious injuries. Doctors performed 14 different surgeries to save my life. I spent the following year at Shepherd Center in Atlanta learning how to live my new life. I learned how to drive a modified vehicle, how to maneuver a wheelchair, and how to become independent again. In 2012 I returned to the classroom. I was given the distinguished honor of being named Jeff Davis County Teacher of the Year as well as The Light of Hope recipient. In my free time I enjoy cooking, swimming and going to the beach.

Editor’s Note: We are proud to share Maria's story here in the Bard Community. Check back often to follow her journey. In order to keep you informed of new stories from Maria, please click on the link below to 'Join Our Community'.  All we need is your name and email address!

All Posts by Maria

Finding My Purpose

My Best Life

The Agony of Chronic Pain

Make a Stand


Love and Support, For Better or Worse

Two Shoppers are Better Than One

The Long Road to Recovery

Swimming Again After Injury

Yes, I Can Have a Career

Mountain Getaway

Support after a Spinal Cord Injury

Parenting from a Wheelchair

Embracing a New Walk

A Little Help from My Friends

Epic Falls and Fails

Broken Crayons Still Color

My Experience with the MAGIC 3 GO™ Hydrophilic Intermittent Catheter

Surf's Up!

Redefining Beauty

The Things Only a Paraplegic Would Understand

Transferring to a Car Seat

Bright, Bold, and Beautiful

Love after a Spinal Cord Injury

Christmas is the Best Time of the Year

Family, Fun and Fall

All in a Day

Adventure Skills Workshop - Shepherd Center

Parenting from a Wheelchair- It’s the Little Things

My Therapy Journey - Going Home

My Therapy Journey - Part 1

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