Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Rachelle, here’s what you should know about her:
Rachelle Friedman was living the life she had dreamed, preparing to marry the man she loved dearly, when a freak accident the night of her bachelorette party changed everything. In May 2010, a playful push from a friend into the shallow end of a pool caused her to hit her head and injuring her spinal cord, leaving her quadriplegic.
Over the next year, as Chris and Rachelle’s wedding was put on hold so she could heal and begin therapy, their commitment became even stronger. This past summer, as the story of their love affair made the rounds in the national media, the couple married.
Today, although Rachelle’s life has changed dramatically, she’s learning to adapt. She’s progressing in her therapy, she’s picked up and competes in adaptive rugby, and she’s begun telling her story to groups in hopes of inspiring others.
“I wanna get to the people who are just kind of marching through life and not really living it – I wanna get to them,” she says. “I wanna get to the people who’re negative and have them be positive, I wanna get to the bullies out there and tell them to straighten up and be good people, I mean, there’s a lot of people I wanna reach.”
And as Rachelle continues to inspire and challenge others, she reaches deep into the core of who she’s become and hopes that her positive outlook and cheerful demeanor have an impact.
“I lived a very, very good childhood and I learned to be grateful for everything,” she says. “I’ve always been grateful. It’s not like the accident changed me and that I realized that whoa, I need to start doing [something different]. I’ve always tried to live my life and I knew that I was lucky – I was lucky to have Chris – I am lucky to have Chris. I was always appreciative, and so I want to teach people to have that appreciation.”
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