"In the summer of 2010, at my bachelorette party, one of my best friends playfully pushed me into a pool," starts the Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), by Rachelle Friedman Chapman. The AMAs on Reddit are a free-for-all where users get to ask whatever they want about a particular person -- and they can get pretty wild. But the one by Chapman -- who has embraced the moniker, "The Paralyzed Bride" -- was perhaps one of the most awesome and inspirational AMAs of all time. First, the details:
"My head hit the bottom of the pool, and two of my vertebra shattered. The broken vertebra damaged my spinal chord enough to leave me permanently paralyzed from the chest down. At that moment, my world fell apart, but I stayed as positive as I could be," she writes.
And that positivity has made Chapman, who went on to get married about a year after her accident, an online star, with people wanting to know everything about her. I had a question of my own that I posed to her: What is the biggest misconception that people have about you? "The biggest misconception is that as long as someone can just get better with a good attitude and working out/physical therapy, that one day I'll walk if I try really hard. It doesn't work like that. It doesn't matter how positive you are if you unplug a lamp the light switch won't work. We need more research. That misconception bothers me."
As you can see, Chapman is insightful, witty and wins at life. We've compiled the best quotes from her AMA. Enjoy.
1. 'I love her and have no grudge.'
Chapman was asked if she had any ill will toward her friend who pushed her into the pool. "I'm not saying its right but I've horseplayed by a pool and pushed people. I've pushed her. What happened was an accident. She obviously has guilt and it has been a process. She's a lot better. I know she hates seeing me in the chair but this is a situation we have to work through together. She's my girl."
2. 'We are lucky to have each other.'
When asked if her relationship with her husband changed since the accident, she was candid and explained why they remain deeply in love. "Money is a factor because we were pretty even on that level before and now we rely on his teacher salary. So it does add stress but we work through it. I'd say we are more passionate and clingy with each other. I think we are just so happy because my injury could have been worse."
3. 'I was worried about her.'
With repeated questions about her relationship with her friend who pushed her into the pool, Chapman summed up how she feels about her. "I know this is hard to believe but I never had to forgive her because I never really blamed her. As I was lying on the side of the pool I was worried about her."
4. 'I. Loved. DANCING!'
"Danced from time I was little and beyond. Took hip hop and ballroom dance in high school. Loved working out too but now I need special equipment to do that. Loved wake boarding, snowboarding, tennis. You name it. Now I play a sport called wheelchair rugby for the Raleigh sidewinders. I handcycle too."
5. 'I want to try hockey!'
Chapman said she remains adventurous and hasn't let her circumstances dampen her enthusiasm one bit. "I had a great support system and I had Chris (love of my life). He deserved to have the girl he planned to marry. I don't mean physically but emotionally. I remained my funny, joking, outgoing self for me and all those around me. I think I get a little more reserved around new people because I have no grip to shake their hand. I do appreciate life more!" she says about how the accident changed her as a person.
6. 'Oh yea!! My chair has spinners!'
I told you she refuses to let her circumstances dampen her enthusiasm about life.
7. 'But really I'm not kidding. I have spinners.'
Don't believe her? She said "check out my fb page :)" (or see below).
From the answering project, an Indiegogo project has been set up to help Chapman and her husband with some of their needs.