The Paralyzed Bride

Rachelle Friedman Chapman

I was paralyzed 4.5 years ago at my bachelorette party. A friend playfully pushed me into the pool. I fell weird and hit my head. c6 quad.

Talking about how much she loved the movie, Murder Ball. In college she helped people with adaptive sports as a volunteer . . .

Sometimes looks around and goes, this is crazy. The news media got hold of my story when I was about 6 months post. Yeah, my best friend. Yeah, my wedding only 4 weeks away.

One interviewer asked me how much of it is attitude . . . and I said all of it. But that became a thing because people take it to mean that if you only try hard enough you can do it. That’s not true, as everybody knows. People don’t want to hear about the bad stuff, right? I don’t think I’ve had a good morning in 4.5 years. I have very severe neuropathic pain, sometimes so bad that I wake up in tears.

Everything takes forever. Getting dressed, going to the bathroom. I need my mom to help with my bowel program. I have to have people help me get the bag out of my pants. When I go on tv, every single time I talk about science, about the need for a cure, and every single time they cut it. Every time.

I started writing a blog because of that. More than equality, we want a cure. We want equality, sure. But more than that we want to get well. People actually ask me if I’d change this if I could.


Yes. And you know what else? I don’t think everything happens for a reason. I don’t want to be an inspiration. I want people to see that I’m a person, sure, and I want people to understand that they could be me, and that this can happen to everybody.

I used to teach line dancing at senior centers, and now I have more in common with 80 year old people than I do with people my age.

Once I did a panel with people who were against stem cell research, and this guy who was against it admitted that he’d be in favor if it was his own daughter were injured.

We need to be louder than the people who say this is okay.

Amen, sista.


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