It’s 2022, and I am 26 years old. This is Chapter Two.
Hello, Chapter Two!
I’m so excited to partner with The North Country Chevy Dealers for #StefFindsNewRoads Chapter Two! The Dealers have been an incredible support system for me these past three years. After seeing what we were able to accomplish together already, I believe our potential is endless. How I feel about being Behind the Wheel again has changed. It’s changed in the same way my outlook, on almost everything, has changed.
When I first started driving with hand controls, I craved the feeling of being alone in my car, music playing, and having a moment of familiar independence back. I was nervous, like other skills I had to relearn, that once I was driving again, I would begin to take it for granted as I have in the past. Three years later, when I’m driving my Equinox… that’s really the only time I’m able to completely forget about my injuries and feel the same as everyone else.
Now that these moments are frequent, it reminds me of how far I’ve come since The North Country Dealers and I partnered together in 2019.
Driving my Equinox, hand-controls and all, to new places just feels natural.
Cheers to Finding New Roads together, in Chapter Two.
The Final Word
When I saw that somehow, my book had come together, I was ecstatic. While I was writing, there were many times I doubted it would ever be complete. The release date crept up, and then it actually arrived! It was complete. Writing an entire book on my own, from start to finish, was overwhelming, but it was the best feeling to release it into the world. I was finally able to share my story – from my own perspective, in my own words.
When newly-injured people leave the hospital, they’re never provided the wheelchairs they actually want… or need. These chairs often don’t fit appropriately, which can be very discouraging. When I was in California, I met someone who made me a custom chair – built for me, literally… It’s much smaller and extremely light. It’s allowed me to move around more freely and feel confident in how I look sitting in it! It’s even easier to get it in and out of my Chevrolet Equinox, too! I take the wheels off the chair, put them in the car, put the frame in, and then repeat when I get out.
I still need some more practice until I reach the independence I strive for, but I’m headed in the right direction! A huge thank you to U2Mobility, Inc. for the chair that gave me back some confidence.
After two years of reminiscing on life pre-accident, reliving the horror of June 30th, and working through my new reality – my memoir, ‘Without Any Warning: Casualties of a Caribbean Vacation’ was officially introduced to the world! We hosted a book launch at my favorite local Rutland, Vermont restaurant – Roots. It was important to me for this event to be casual and fun, open to the public, and focused on the most important part… the celebration of life. I wanted to honor this experience with a toast, side by side with the community whose continued support helped to make it all possible.