Contributor Bio: Natalie

Natalie at the age of 24, became a quadriplegic. On October 22, 2004, a catastrophic accident changed her life when a 600 pound exercise weight machine fell over and landed on top of Natalie. She was working as a physical therapist assistant and licensed massage therapist at the time of the injury.

Since 2004, with her strong faith in God, and support from her parents, family and friends, Natalie has been dedicated to intense rehabilitation and recovery therapy in Atlanta, GA at the Shepherd Center and many other excellent recovery facilities that practice Integrative Manual Therapy, offering the hope of walking again. Natalie’s dream has been to start a foundation in her community to not only encourage and advocate for people but also help them get money the expensive specialized medical care they may need.

Natalie founded the Wheels with Wings Foundation. The Foundation became a vision and personal goal of Natalie early on in her injury while experiencing how challenging it can be to obtain critical items such as intense rehabilitation therapy, home modifications, and other equipment which is needed as a result of a spinal cord injury. It was established in Buffalo, New York, and is a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Wheels with Wings Foundation’s Mission is to assist individuals who have suffered a spinal cord injury and their families, to Rise Above and recover from this catastrophic injury. Individual grant awards, education, resources, awareness and advocacy are ways Wheels With Wings will work on improving the lives of people with this injury to become independent and productive and truly make a difference.

Natalie's journey continues to move forward beyond her own traumatic injury by continuing to help people. She is now in the beginning development stages of working with others to open up a state-of-the-art spinal cord recovery institute in Western New York where it is desperately needed & can help many people. Her dream is to create a unique one-of-a-kind facility that will help other people rise above their injuries similar to the way she has in her own life. With her faith in God, support from family, friends, and the community Natalie works hard to overcome tragedy and use her experience to make a difference in other people's lives! Follow her on her journey.

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