“You are not a victim, you are a survivor”


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In October of 2005, Tamara Mena, now 28 years old, and her long-time boyfriend, Patrick, decided to take a short trip to Rosarito, Mexico from San Diego. To avoid drinking and driving, they hopped in a taxi to be safe. Just a few miles from their destination, the taxi struck something in the road and Patrick instinctively used his arms to push her head down for protection. They had collided with a horse, which ended up landing on top of the car, killing both Patrick and the driver.
Tamara’s life was spared thanks to Patrick, but she suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed and unable to communicate for months due to her lungs collapsing as well as several other fractures. 

When anyone suffers such a traumatic injury, also the emotional toll it takes on that person is incredibly difficult to endure. Tamara, fortunately, took to heart some words that her aunt shared with her post-accident. She said, “Just remember, you are a not a victim, you are a survivor”. 
After her accident, Tamara returned to college and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with the highest of honors. Her drive to succeed has taken her on international business trips as a motivational speaker and on the runway as a fashion model.

Tamara has a very positive attitude and pursues her dreams. Nevertheless, she’s also very passionate about finding a cure for spinal cord injury. Therefore she joined the Wings for Life World Run and finished with 10k. “I´m so proud to double my 5k from last year. I'm passionate about making a difference and leaving a mark in this world,” Mena says. “As a person living with a spinal cord injury, I'm very thankful that something of this magnitude is being done to support research.”

Find out more about Tamara on her website http://tamaramena.com