“Mallory lifted the entire room; I was completely blown away. We sometimes overuse words like “inspirational” or “awesome” or “courageous” and they lose their true meaning—not in this case; Mallory is all those and more.”
Environmental Resource Management,
Managing Partner of MidAtlantic in the Northern Division
Just two months prior to her 19th birthday, Mallory Weggemann went in to receive her third and final epidural injection that she was receiving to help treat back pain caused by post herpetic neuroglia. The epidural injections that were supposed to help with the debilitating pain instead left Mallory a paraplegic with complete loss of movement from her abdomen down. But instead of focusing on the life she lost, Mallory did the incredible, creating a new life for herself. Within four months of her paralysis, she was back in the swimming pool and less than four years later had set 15 world records and 33 American records and proceeded to win gold and bronze at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Now, in addition to competing internationally and training for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Mallory is an international speaker, delivering messages that are not only inspirational, but also offer valuable lessons in leadership, attitude, and survival in the face of tremendous odds.
Mallory’s story is told through her personal reflections and journal entries throughout her ordeal; it is also a challenge to each of us as we consider the ways that we handle disappointments and setbacks in our own lives. In a voice that has inspired audiences as varied as high school students to Fortune 100 executives, Mallory engages in an intimate and honest dialogue. From the raw emotions of her earliest journal entries to the jubilant celebration as she celebrates each triumph of independence and accomplishment along the way, Mallory chronicles her personal writings and emotions as she found herself submerged in a new life—and rose definitely to emerge stronger, tougher, and freer than she ever was before.
It is with tremendous enthusiasm and genuine frankness that Mallory Weggemann shares her story—and story she insists is still unfolding—with the world. Her journey did not begin or end with the day she was paralyzed. That was merely one event among many in her life that has shaped, but not defined, her. The same, she insists, is true for any one of us. Whatever circumstances we face that may handicap us, we all choose daily whether we will allow those limitations to power over us or whether we will face down our challenges in a journey towards our own new mobility.
“"Mallory was absolutely amazing - standing ovation, teary eyes, long line of well-wishers after her talk... Mallory gets our strongest endorsement as a keynote speaker."
South Dakota Council for Exceptional Children
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