Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Now-a-days, most people use at least one form of social media (if not more!). More interactions are happening online, and the world is truly becoming one of technology. For most of us, social media allows us to stay connected with friends, get updated on the latest news, or just remain entertained. But for Katy Blake, social media gave her a voice and an opportunity to achieve her dreams.
Katy, the subject of this week's Tell Us Your Story Project, wrote in last October about how Facebook truly changed her life. On June 13, 2010, Katy was in a serious car accident which left her paralyzed from the neck down. She had to receive a tracheotomy which inhibited her speaking abilities. However social media gave her back some hope. "Facebook gave me a connection back into the world," explained Katy. "More importantly, it gave me a voice."
Katy experienced countless setbacks within her first year post-injury. Due to her location and lack of resources and insurance, she wasn't able to recieve therapy she needed to recover. After being denied Medicaid in 2011, Katy decided she needed a new strategy. And Facebook provided one.
"By this point, I had a large following on Facebook of people who were inspired by my determination and they had great faith in my recovery," stated Katy. "So I decided to see how Facebook could help me achieve my dreams of going to therapy."
With that positive attitude, Katy created a page called "Help Katy Back to Rehab" which explained her story and ultimate goal. (Click here
to check it out!) "All I could think was if the right person or organization saw my story, maybe they would help," explained Katy. Apparently, it worked. "The response was greater than I had ever imagined."
Through her Facebook endeavors, Katy was able to organize multiple fundraisers and benefits, which in turn helped her afford therapy at Atlanta's The Shepherd Center
, which specializes in spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation (see picture).
But Facebook gave her even more than just an opportunity to recover. "I've been fortunate enough to share my story with thousands of people," stated Katy. "I can educate and raise awareness about spinal cord injuries and break the barriers of people's perceptions of those living with disabilities."
Whether you're uploading a picture or updating your status, you never know the power that social media can have. Clearly it changed Katy's life, just because she shared her story! Tweet it, blog it, email it, whatever! I encourage you to share your story too.
Kasia, the Facebooker.
See how other people are using social media to share their story by checking out The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation online community
Tell us your story
Telling your story is one way to let anyone touched by paralysis know that they are not alone. We've created a place where you can share your journey for your benefit, and the benefit of others. Your story matters. Share it