Designing a Life Worth Loving

Growing up confined to a wheelchair has had its ups and downs. Like anyone else, I have my days where life throws me an obstacle that I don't think I can overcome, but I do. Thanks to my parents, I learned to never "see my wheelchair" and that life is what you make of it. At an early age I chose to do just that: make my life exactly as I wanted it to be. We all have the power to write our own story.

A Love for Travel

At a very young age I was determined to make sure that my story would be one that I could be proud of and love despite my physical limitations. As I got older I developed a love for travel, a crazy sense of adventure, and an indescribable love for all people in all walks of life. I accepted that my wheelchair would become my best friend and that there wasn't anything in the world that the two of us couldn't conquer together. It would help me become independent and would quickly become the walking legs that I never was fortunate to have.

Sara at the top of Willis Tower

Because of my Quickie wheelchair, I have been able to fulfill my love for travel and adventure. I've been fortunate enough to visit quite a few major cities in the U.S. and would have to say that Chicago is one of my favorites. Since Chicago is a wheelchair-friendly city, I have been able to physically enjoy all that the city has to offer. I have conquered my fear of heights by going out onto the glass ledge at Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower), which sits 1,353 feet above the ground. I also love to stroll along the beaches, dine at amazing restaurants, and go from one end of the city to the other on their wheelchair-accessible CTA buses. I think that my chair may have more miles on it than most able-bodied walking legs.

The Best Days of My Life

My upbringing was just as ordinary as the next person's. When asked what my "best day in life" has been so far, it's a tossup. One of my favorite days would definitely be when I graduated from high school and just like any average teenager I was ecstatic to be graduating. I was the first person in a wheelchair to ever go from kindergarten to 12th grade in the school district and I received a standing ovation from my fellow classmates. It was a true realization for me at that moment that I accomplished something nobody else yet had, and that I had earned the respect of my peers while doing so.

Sara visiting the waterfront in Chicago, IL

The second best day of my life was when I became an aunt for the very first time. It was in that moment I realized that not only do I have to be amazing for myself, but first and foremost I have to be amazing for my nieces and nephews. I want them to truly understand that despite whatever comes their way in life they can accomplish anything. There may be times that I am in physical discomfort, but I never let that stop me from living my life to its fullest potential. I'm constantly pushing myself to be better than I was yesterday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara, who suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta

My name is Sara, I'm 35 years old from Pittsburgh, PA. I'm a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, and a professional. I suffer from a brittle bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta. My life's motto is to "design a life that I love."

Most of the stories here on LiveQuickie.com were submitted by readers. Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear it. Submit your story here.


Date: 11/7/2016 12:00:00 AM


Comments
Art vandalay
"Sima down"
11/27/2016 11:57:51 AM
 
Brad Ramge
Sara. You are inspiration to so many people. Including me. Sharing your thoughts is so powerful. Thank you!
11/14/2016 6:36:49 AM
 
Natalie
Sara is one of most amazing young women I know. She is an inspiration to all. Those of us who know her have been blessed.
11/14/2016 5:22:54 AM
 
Mimi Tripodi
Hi, Sarah! I am so fortunate to call you my friend. See you in Hilton Head!
Mimi Tripodi
11/13/2016 7:27:37 PM
 
Juliana Meehan
So so so proud of you. You are not only an inspiration to me but to so many! I am so lucky and blessed to call such an amazing person my sister and best friend. Keep on shining, we are your biggest fans! We love you!
11/12/2016 3:24:31 PM
 
Tim Rose
Sara, you are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing your story. You have touched my heart here in the UK.
11/10/2016 12:44:58 PM
 
Brandon Hunt
Sara as crazy as earth has become recently thank you for using your platform to reminder all us silly people that guess what, everything's still just fine! Blessings🙏🏾
11/10/2016 11:30:05 AM
 
Heather Davidson
Sara! You go girl!!! This is awesome! What an amazing story written by an even more amazing person! If only everyone could appreciate this life the way you do! Much love and respect to you!!!! xoxo - Heather
11/9/2016 9:18:53 PM
 
Josh Betts
Not one bit surprised by your constant ability to see the best in every situation and the ability to brighten a room with your smile!! So proud of who you are.
11/9/2016 8:24:58 PM
 
Jodi August
Sara knows how to live life to the fullest, for sure. We've been friends since I can remember, and she was by my side on my wedding day even when she was at the hospital the night before. She's just one-of-a-kind. 💜 Never a dull moment in her life.
11/9/2016 6:50:13 PM
 
Casper and Veronica Cardamone
11/9/16 You, my dear, are an amazing roll model for everybody! Whenever anybody starts to feel sorry for themselves or are upset about silly everyday things in life they need to keep you in mind and see the zest you have for life and living! Ever since we met you back in those Elementary "ice cream social" days at Roberts School you have inspired all of us. You have achieved so much. You have never let anything get in your way of enjoying life. It's alway great to hear about the people you've met and the places you've been! You are miraculous, amazing and we love having you as a part of our "family"!
❤️XO Ronica & Casper
11/9/2016 3:27:19 PM
 
Greg Wisniowski
Sara, glad to see you doing so wonderfully after all these years and being inspirational to those around you. Makes my day. Don't stop being great. All the best always!
11/9/2016 9:40:19 AM
 
Kristy Reis
We love you Sara! You have an amazing life perspective, outlook, and positively bright personality and I'm so happy you're sharing it in the form of a blog but I'm even more happy that I know you and have the privilege to call you a friend!! Tons of love, Kristy & Donnie ❤️🙌🏼
11/8/2016 9:04:48 PM
 
Laura Scott
I can't believe the world doesn't already know Sara...never has there been a more positive, beautiful soul. She's the epitome of wonderful!
11/8/2016 6:03:13 PM
 
Helen Lucatorto
We have always known you as a shining and bright influence on the people around you! We are so proud of you and your accomplishments! You are a treasured member of our immediate and extended family! We ALL love you and are so happy and thankful that you are a part of our lives!
11/8/2016 4:24:50 PM
 
Rachel Laiya
Sara... I am of course not shocked at the awesomeness that is you. What a wonderful blog abd a great insight to you and your life. I def wouldnt call it a struggle because you make the best out of life. Your kind and sweet spirit can make abyone forget that you happen to need a wheelchair. Love you & very proud of a wonderful job on your blog ❤️️❤️️
11/8/2016 2:04:12 PM
 
Linda Grimes
Sara is an amazing and beautiful person inside and out. So proud of her and blessed to have been such a small part of her family.
11/8/2016 2:01:29 PM
 
Gaye Cost
Sara,
You are by far one of the most brave, kind, and sweetest people. Your smile and courage exceed that of most people on earth. You accomplishments are to be admired by all.
Many people can, and have learned from you and the person you are. It's a pleasure to be one of the people who have known you through the years and watch you evolve into such a lovely young lady.
11/8/2016 1:53:48 PM
 
Teresa
Sara,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story! You have always been an inspiration to us all!
11/8/2016 12:52:37 PM
 
Kathy
Sara, You are an AMAZING women and you keep inspiring me with all the things you do, places you go and the many stories you write or tell. Thank you 😊
11/8/2016 10:48:25 AM
 
Marly P Hawes
Quickie - you could not have picked a more special and deserving spokeswoman! With the help of her wheelchair, Sara has never missed a beat!! As she mentions in her blog, she has gone places that even able-bodied people have not gone! Having the pleasure of calling Sara my friend has changed my perspective on life - she has a better attitude than anyone I know and her appetite for life is contagious!!
11/8/2016 10:47:36 AM
 
Stacey Zatawski
Always proud of you Sar, lucky to have had some awesome travel adventures with you already and looking forward to a lifetime of more! Thank you for always being an inspiration to everyone you meet!!!
11/8/2016 10:43:27 AM
 
Rochele
What a wonderful opportunity to share how blessed you are with others. Keep writing. Keep sharing.
11/8/2016 10:31:11 AM
 
Dani Pindel
You are such an AMAZING person. My kids are so lucky have you in their life to look up to and be inspired by. I am so blessed to have you in my life and as a friend and like a sister. xoxo love you
11/8/2016 9:20:18 AM
 
Becky O'Neill
Sara,
What a great story you have. I am so blessed to have become friends with such a beautiful, courageous and inspiring person. You truly are amazing and anyone who has come into contact with you knows this!! Keep doing what you do and keep that big beautiful smile on your face!!! The Quickie franchise could not have picked a better person, in my eyes, to have wrote this blog about their product! Love you!!!!
11/8/2016 9:01:49 AM
 
megan
what a great article!!! sara is such an inspiring human being!
11/8/2016 9:00:05 AM
 
Amanda Doyle
Sara, you are one amazing woman.. We seem to follow each other everywhere. I love the way you LOVE Life.. Safe travels DAWG.. You rock!!
11/8/2016 2:56:07 AM
 
Aunt Debbie
I'm voting for you for President!! <3 Love you a millions times and then some....<3
11/7/2016 11:18:22 PM
 
Johnna
Sara, thank you for sharing this. I am friends with your friend Julie, and this just moved me and gave me such inspirational views on life. Your story touches many hearts and without question will forever touch mine. You are a very strong woman and fulfilled life with happiness and showed the entire world anything is possible, and without ever knowing you; I want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your story, thank you for making what may seem at times the impossible, possible again. Thank you for encouraging others to become better individuals❤️
11/7/2016 9:45:47 PM
 
Barbara Hill
Sara this is so wonderful, you are such a beautiful person inside and out. I am glad I got to know you in the work place. You are an inspiration to all.
11/7/2016 4:42:40 PM
 
Heidi Scholar
Sara- What an inspirational and positive message! Thanks for sharing your story so that others might be as inspired. And kudos to Quickie for producing such an amazing extension of you so that you are able to be all that you can be!
11/7/2016 3:55:19 PM
 
Marian
Sara, the first day I met you, I was so interested in who Sara was because you were so sweet and kind to everyone. You had/have a smile that lit up the room. You have been a true inspiration to me and so many others. That you my friend. I love you.
11/7/2016 3:10:51 PM
 
Julie Buck
Sara my dear friend I am so proud of you for sharing your story! You are an amazing powerful woman and blessed to be your friend! Xoxo
11/7/2016 2:23:38 PM
 
lorri bandish
Sara, i am so honored & proud to call you my friend
love you.
Lorri
11/7/2016 2:05:11 PM
 
Sheryl
Hi Sara!!
You look fantastic AS Always!!!! So awesome to see you are always being that wonderful encouragement for everyone else. I have always loved your amazing outlook on life. You definitely lead by example 😘
11/7/2016 2:02:08 PM
 
Trish Smith
Hi Sara! Proud to say we were co workers! Always handled job situations professionally, and has a great sense of humor! :)
11/7/2016 12:55:37 PM
 
Leesa Cary
Oh, the awesomeness! Sara is such an inspiration and an example to us all how to live life to the fullest. I'm stealing her motto: "Design a life that I love"!!!
#yougogirl
11/7/2016 12:48:31 PM
 
Alicia Lybarger
I'm an occupational therapist. Sara is my friend, not a client that I've ever professionally worked with but what is written here should be shared through many therapies. The part when she said she decided to accept her wheelchair as her best friend needs to be shared! Many people (patients, therapists, etc.) look at medical devices as a necessity; Sara looks at her wheelchair as more than that and in doing so has "designed a life that she loves". Proud to call her a friend!
11/7/2016 12:38:04 PM
 
Terry Szpara
Sara is amazing...she is amazing all around.
Everyone can learn from her positive outlook.
Blessed to have met her.
11/7/2016 12:19:25 PM
 
Maribeth Toth
They could not have picked a better spokesperson. You are the most amazing, beautiful person that I have ever met. You are so inspiring and such a joy to be around. I am so honored to be a part of your life and to call you my friend and colleague.
11/7/2016 11:41:07 AM
 
John DiFonzo
I remember when you got your first motorized wheel chair and your travels started. Traveling across the street to visit with everyone on the block. Your mother watching over you scream too slow down. From that day forward you never stopped moving, exploring, growing. You never stop amazing me. You are an inspiration to everyone and I am so blessed to have crossed paths with you. Keep rolling girl !!!!
11/7/2016 11:41:07 AM
 
Louise Kohlmyer
I am always in awe when i see Sara's Facebook posts because she always seems to be traveling somewhere- she is witty and so inspiring.
Amazing
11/7/2016 11:20:50 AM
 
Alan Welding
As your former teacher, and now your neighbor, this fills me with great pride and inspiration. You have always been an inspiration to those around you and your zest for life is infectious. Thank you for sharing and just being who you are!
11/7/2016 11:14:08 AM
 
Michele Milito
Sara, you are such an amazing young women. You have inspired all of us to push harder. We are so lucky to have you as a family member. It has been an honor to watch you grow into the person you are today. Looking forward to your future endeavors. Love you!
Aunt Michele
11/7/2016 10:56:31 AM
 
Tracy Clarke
I've said it befor and I'll say it again...Sara is such a beautiful person inside and out. She has such a kind and caring heart, so this didn't surprise me one bit that she wanted to touch others in hopes that they may be inspired. Her attitude and outlook on life still inspires me! You couldn't have picked a better person to represent your company. Thanks for the article!
11/7/2016 10:21:53 AM
 
Diana Jordan
Sara, your story and outlook on life are true inspirations. You have been a positive influence on my family and now I hope your story can positively impact other families. Thank you for sharing your life of courage and achievements with others!
11/7/2016 10:08:04 AM
 
Ron Zatawski
You could not have chosen a better spokesperson the Sara, I have known her for a long time, just a truly wonderful person
11/7/2016 10:04:29 AM
 
Laurel Friday
My beautiful Sara. What an inspiration you are to many and after reading "your life" you will hold that title for many more. Staying positive has it's benefits and you are a prime example! Love you always! Remember our deployment in the control room and calling the van for you to have a home early,it was fun.
11/7/2016 10:03:27 AM
 
Alicia Cornell
Sara is an amazing person that I have been blessed to know for most of her life. She has incredible spirit and has done more in her 35 years than most have done in a lifetime. I'm lucky to call her a friend.
11/7/2016 9:48:04 AM
 
luisa cohen
sara, you are an amazing woman now......i remember meeting you for the first time in nancy matt's kindergarten........you were one determined little lady then as you are now.....you are smart, talented and an inspiration to so many.........you, my dear, are one person who i have never considered handicapped.....that you are not, you have just had a few obstacles to overcome and have done so with much admiration from your friends and family............kudos to you, love, and keep traveling........love you sweetie......how can you be 35 when i am only 29 and holding??????
11/7/2016 9:43:46 AM
 
Jacqueline MacKenzie
Sara forgot to mention the many friends she has supported over the years. I was fortunate to meet Sara at a sporting event at the high school my boys attended. Sara immediately became a lifetime friend. Her positive attitude is an inspiration. She even helped name my third grandchild. Sara never let her situation stop her from being a great person. Great article for a truly great person ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
11/7/2016 9:12:56 AM
 
Judy Hiers
What an amazing life story. Very inspiring! Kudos to you for not seeing your diagnosis as less than, as you have accomplished more than most in a lifetime. I feel honored to call you "friend".
11/7/2016 7:24:17 AM
 

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