Grace In Adversity | Free Spirit Volume 2013 Issue 4
There’s an old saying “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” Here’s more than enough living proof…
Diagnosed with acute rheumatoid arthritis at the tender age of thirteen, young athlete, dancer, equestrian, and cheerleader Mikaela Farasyn didn’t have time to throw herself a “pity party.”
Mysterious pain in her shoulders and arms, soon spreading into her hands, sent her to the doctor. “Sure, I was shocked, really sad when I first heard the news,” pretty, perky Mikaela admits. But as soon as medications brought some welcome relief, she simply decided “… to keep doing what I love to do.”
With her body no longer fully cooperating, Mikaela realized she probably couldn’t expect to be “the best” anymore, but maybe competition with others wasn’t really the point. She would dance with her heart for the sheer joy of it now, “…happy I could still do it at all.”
These powerful lessons in resiliency, strength, and determination would serve Mikaela well four years later when the next even bigger challenge came.
Just a few days before Christmas 2012, Mikaela and her boyfriend went sledding with friends in Oregon’s Ochoco Mountains. Riding tandem, she and Derek were gleefully speeding down a steep hill. But when they hit the packed snow “jump” at the bottom, her head snapped back violently.
As they landed, she rolled limply off the sled. “At first it didn’t hurt at all,” Mikaela remembers, “but I knew something was terribly, terribly wrong.”