Meet Spiney

     In 2001, I was in a powered parachuting accident and suffered a spinal cord injury that left me paralyzed from the chest down. A wheelchair was now my legs and I had little of my arms. My fingers would not move, which made it  harder to engage in activities of daily living without assistance.   

     During this period in my life, I was forced to confront many obstacles, both physical and mental. The physical obstacles were tough, regaining strength, using adaptive equipment, and maintaining endurance. The mental obstacles were just as challenging because I was forced to reroute my life to accommodate my paralysis.  This built my inner strength of faith, courage, and persistence. 

       To find an easy platform to explain all of this to the students I taught and other people in my life, I wrote my first book, New Opportunities.  This is when the character Spiney, the porcupine, was "born". Along with  illustrator and good friend Dorothy Perez, the story of Spiney, called New Opportunities was published in 2005. 

     After the many obstacles I had battled to get "back on my feet" following my accident, this book brought some awesome rewards. First, by writing, I found a way of healing from the traumatic experience I was going through. Next, I was getting calls from schools to come and talk to their students about Spiney and disability. It was really neat to see the empathy and compassion toward disability that these children were sharing. Finally, this book kept me moving forward with my own goals and paved the way for even more exciting moments that followed. 

A New Spiney book is coming soon!

You can order your copy of New Opportunities from Trafford Publishing. Click the button below.

Order New Opportunities


Scuba Diving

     Imagine what you could do if there was nothing to hold you back, no obstacles, you're free. Scuba did that for Shelly. Out of her wheelchair and into the trusting hands of Jim Elliott of Diveheart, she soon realized anything is possible. All it takes is the guidance of someone who believes you can do something. Imagine what we can do for those living with disabilities, if we took the time to show them what they CAN do. We hold in our hands the ability to make a difference, change a life, a mind, or a circumstance. Diveheart does this one dive at a time.
     ScubAbility was written to show people of all ages and disabilities that you can find NEW abilities no matter how out of reach they may seem to be. Fly underwater with Shelly as Diveheart shows her scubability. The journey will share a message that will make you think about the possibilities in your life! Scubability is a children's book written for readers of ALL abilities. Enjoy the amazing illustrations of the Aurora Art Company's family, featuring the work of Amanda and Amberlyn.