Model: Barbara Ramirez
I’m Barbie! I am 30 years old. When I was fourteen, I was in a car accident resulting in a complete spinal cord injury at T4/T3 level. My life changed in a matter of seconds. Doctors said I would never walk again. My love of sports and dreams of becoming a professional soccer player vanished. They were replaced by physical and emotional pain and years of healing.
In 2014, I married a great man who I call my best friend, my confidant, and my lover. I’m a proud mom of a beautiful three-year-old girl named Lluvia Sinai. At the same time, I want her to be proud of me! I’ve learned to love and own my wheels; to accept my body with scars and imperfections. Without them, I wouldn’t be ME. They remind me that I am a survivor, not a victim.
That car accident changed my life! Yes, for the better, because I see it as a second opportunity. It helped me become a better person, a woman who appreciates life and beauty around me. My wish is for people to stop seeing my chair first instead of seeing me. A disability doesn’t define a person who has learned to love herself. When you have accepted yourself for who you are, there’s always, ALWAYS, a way to love yourself even more. If you can’t walk, then ROLL. Because losing your ability to walk is one thing, but that doesn’t mean you lose your ability to keep moving forward!
Photographed by Bonnie Jaimes