Misty Diaz is an adaptive athlete, public speaker, model, and generally legendary inspirational figure.

Living with spina bifida, Misty has endured 28 operations, and uses forearm crutches everywhere she goes. Spina bifida is a birth defect occurring when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly, and while once considered life-threatening, in the modern era, most born with it survive well into adulthood, with a considerable number living independently.

Misty is one of these people; someone who not only lives independently, but does so with passion, determination and a genuine sense of purpose and willingness to conquer the obstacles life throws at her.

A truly inspiring person, she is living proof that much of what anyone needs to get where they need to go is the right attitude, outlook and frame of mind.

Faced with the trauma and enduring mental distress that comes from having such a condition and the added stress of medical procedures not working, Misty took the opportunity of her not responding to traditional healthcare methods as an opportunity to explore alternate means.

“After my 28th operation failed, I was like, ‘I feel miserable’,” she said.

“So I can take that ‘uncomfortability’ and misery and try something I’ve never done – just walking. And as that slowly increased, I saw a billboard that said a 5k run was going to be happening in my city. I signed up, not knowing what it was, and I never stopped since.

“I still have that willingness to want to strive to be better. It allowed me to slowly start to head towards feeling comfortable and accepting myself and finding my true, authentic self.”

Now, she lives her own life and is able to achieve numerous feats that many would have considered impossible. 

Everyone has their own challenges each day that they need to overcome. Some have it worse than others, but your experience is your own, and your challenges (great or small) need to be met. Misty is a living, breathing example of what inspirational outcomes can result from the right attitude and the right positive outlook.

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