Tasha Schuh, Ms. Wheelchair USA, gave the BC community an inspiring speech on April 3 in the Walsh Function Room. Minutes of Memories (MFMBC), a volunteering group on campus spreading awareness of traumatic injuries, organized the event.
Tasha Schuh was in a theater accident in 1997 that left her paralyzed from chest down. She was on the stage rehearsing for The Wizard of Oz when after a wrong step she fell 16 inches to a cement floor.
“I was completely conscious and heard the most horrible crunch in my life. It was my neck breaking,” Tasha Schuh said on Thursday. Later the doctor told her that she would not be able to walk again for the rest of her life.
“I felt like I didn’t sign up for this… and I want to die,” Tasha said. “They told my family that I was not able to live. Multiple times, they came in and say goodbye to me. Basically at the night, the doctors would leave. And [the doctors] thought there was no way that when they came back in the next morning that I would still be there.” Tasha continued, “But every time, I was! I was still there.”
After the medical crisis, Tasha’s perspective completed changed. “When they told me I was going to be paralyzed, I wanted to die. But when they told me I almost died, I wanted to live. At that moment, I knew my life have a purpose. I am here on the earth for a purpose. I have something to give, a need to meet that no one else can fulfill."
The support from the people around her gave Schuh strength to live on. “Once, I received a card from a third grader saying, “I just want you to know. I broke my arm at school. And I broke my leg at home in the same day. Mine is worse.” Tasha put the card on her wall, and felt positive every time she saw it.
Later, Tasha decided to go to college. “There were many voices saying no to me, but I proved them wrong,” she said. In 2003, she got her first bachelor degree in Communication from Winona State University, and in 2007 she got her second bachelor degree in Theology with a perfect 4.0 GPA. After graduating, Tasha decided to become an inspiring speaker who travels and shares her stories to encourage people to live up. Tasha won the Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant in 2012, and recently, she married to her price charming, Doug Michaels.
“The most grateful thing happened to me was that one day, I found I could move my wrist,” Tasha said, “I was told that I couldn’t do it anymore.” Then Tasha raised her arm and moved her wrist to the audience. “Do you know what it means? One wrist is ‘yes’. Point to myself is ‘I’. Two wrists are ‘can’. Together is ‘Yes, I can.’”
Kate Xu, Vice President of MFMBC said, “Having Tasha speak to us, we want to let BC students learn about her story, bring more awareness of traumatic injuries and engage more students into volunteering. Next semester, we will lead our trip to Monkey College, where monkeys get trained to help for the disabled.”