Where There’s an Erin, There’s a Way
Our friend Erin knows a little bit about what it’s like to be different, and more importantly (and admirably), she helps others embrace what makes them different every single day.
Almost 31 years ago next month, Erin was a behaving like a very typical 5 years old little girl. On the evening of April 17th, she went to a Kmart with her parents and her little sister to buy some things for their new house. While wandering down an aisle, Erin unknowingly picked up an explosive device hidden inside a tube of toothpaste that was seemingly out of place and got the best of her curiosity. The bomb inside the tube shook the entire store and cost young Erin her left hand and her left eye and left her with substantial burns. Can you even imagine? As mothers with children close to the age of 5… it is very hard for us to.
I have the sincere pleasure of knowing Erin on a personal level, so I can attest for the fact that she has never outwardly expressed anger or resentment about the accident that would change her life forever. Erin was surrounded by the most loving parents, family and friends, and still is. She doesn’t remember being treated any differently after the accident, but she does remember her parents encouraging her to never give up, and never let what happened to her discourage her from doing whatever she wanted in life. And she has DONE it all!
After the accident, Erin embraced her life for exactly what it was: “It was either embrace it and have a good time and make friends and participate in activities or sit in the corner and feel bad about yourself and not move forward. And I chose to make friends and try out things and if I failed I would try it again, or find something else to do.” In retrospect, Erin is so thankful that she was 5 when this happened. She just learned how to do absolutely everything again. The fact that she looks at that as a blessing is so inspirational to us, hence… why we wanted her on this podcast.
Not only does Erin not store anger in her heart about this tragedy, but she willingly tells her story and talks to people about what happened to her. Erin has never let what happened to her get in the way of living her very best life! She is married to an amazing man and a mom to three beautiful children. She is a PHYSICAL THERAPIST, guys. So quite literally, she helps other children face the trauma of accidents and injuries or overcoming things they were born with. The irony of that never ceases to amaze us, and she has a special connection with her patients. Day in and day out she serves as a source of motivation for kids who are going through rough stuff and manages 65 people. What. A. BOSS!
No one knows how they would handle a situation like this until they go through it. But everyone can admire the strength of a person like Erin. There are of course things that frustrate her, but even she admits that the things that she thinks she can’t do, she likely could. She just needs to keep trying! This story has always served as an inspiration to both of us, and we hope that you enjoyed listening to Erin share it on the podcast. She is the perfect person to help others gain a little perspective, open their minds and hearts, and inspire us all to make the best of who we are and what we have.
To wrap things up… we hope that you can embrace this advice from Erin and be encouraged to KEEP GOING… no matter what!: “Keep your head up. Don’t give up. Reach out to others for support and encouragement.”
Alas. She is our hero! Give the show a listen if you haven’t already!
In this photo Erin is surrounded by her kick butt amazingly loving family AND… the Firefighter who was off duty the night of the accident and came to her rescue, and several other doctors who lended to her healing and care all those years ago… and still today! HEROS UNITE!
photo credit: Ann Marie Shambaugh / current carmel article
We are 2 Colleens who share a passion to make the world a kinder place. We’re so happy you’re here!
We started recording our conversations.
Mondays get an undeserved bad rep.
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We really like to make people smile.