Before my accident, I guess I was a typical 16-year-old girl (boy crazy). I had a boyfriend at the time of my accident. But after my accident, my social life changed dramatically. I had really-low self esteem. I had a poor body image, and I had pretty much decided that I would be alone for the rest of my life. I struggled with those demons for a long time after my accident. I always questioned myself, “Who would want to date, and who would want to marry someone with a disability?” So, I had a tough time as a teenager in dealing with my future, my dating life and my potential for marriage. But then I decided I couldn’t let my relationships determine my worth. I couldn’t let someone else dictate my image of myself, or decide what I was capable of doing and accomplishing. I had to learn not to let my injury define my life, and not to let my injury become my priority.
About 3 years after my accident, when I was 19, I started dating again. When I finally decided to give up on dating and do my own thing, then 2 weeks later I met my husband. I had come back to Wyoming to visit some friends, and I became reacquainted with Russ Lundvall and his family. Russ’s father had multiple sclerosis (MS) and had been in a wheelchair most of Russ’s life. So, my having a disability wasn’t a problem for Russ to deal with, and we hit it off from the very beginning. Russ is the one who introduced me to hunting and fishing. He encouraged me to get outdoors and enjoy all the outdoor sports, including riding 4-wheelers and doing everything I could outdoors. He's still my number-one hunting and fishing buddy.
I particularly like to hunt birds. This spring of 2016, I’ll go on my first turkey hunt. I like to hunt any kind of critter I can cook and eat, and I'm passionate about using my Mossy Oak camo to get in close and take a good shot.