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Katie Breland

Bogalusa, LA

Entry Photo for Katie Breland - Bogalusa, LA

On October 13, 2011, Katie Breland was in an automobile accident where she suffered severe burns to 75% of her body and shattered her L1 L2 vertebrae damaging her spinal cord leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. A nine hour surgery placing two rods and plates was performed to hold her back together. During surgery it was discovered that her spinal cord was not severed giving her and her family hope that one day she would walk again. She has many scars that remind her of her 100 day stay in hospitals and rehab. On January 20, 2012, the day came when she was able to go home. After her wreck, Katie thought her ability to help others was gone. A former high school stand out in basketball, softball, and track; a triathlon participant, fitness trainer and Physical Therapy Assistant, she thought that being in a wheelchair would hinder her ability to train herself and others as she had done so many times prior to her accident. She struggled with that for a very long time and had to learn to refuse to believe that thought. Two years and 5 months later, Katie has participated in a triathlon using her specially designed bicycle and has no plans of allowing her current condition to define her. Katie regularly travels to nearby churches and schools to share her testimony and recently opened up her own gym called The S (Strength) H (Heart) E (Endurance) D (Determination). In 6 months, Katie’s hope is to walk down the aisle to marry the love of her life, in her braces, without the assistance of her walker. She knows she has a lot of work to do to prepare herself but will stop at nothing to achieve just one of her many goals in life. Giving the chance to possibility win a vehicle would help her to further gain her independence and help her to stay active in the community.