Let Your Light Shine

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We’re celebrating women.  This whole month is dedicated to us girls.

I thought I’d share with you one of the most inspiring stories I have come across. A story about survival against all odds. Not just survival – this is one kick ass awesome woman.

Meet Turia Pitt. In 2011 she was trapped in a grass fire while competing in a 100km ultramarathon. Her life was going pretty well until then. Model, fitness fanatic, mining engineer – it all came to a screeching halt. Full thickness burns to 65% of her body landed her in hospital barely alive.

She lost seven fingers, spent an agonising six months in hospital, underwent 200 operations, spent two years in recovery. Against all odds she survived. Not just survived – she has gone on to make a whole new life for herself that has literally launched her into a whole other orbit.

Turia is now married. She has given birth to her first child. As an ambassador for Interplast Australia & New Zealand she has helped raise almost $1 million in donations.  Interplast is an organisation that sends  teams of volunteer plastic and reconstructive surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and allied health professionals to provide life-changing surgery and medical training in 17 countries across the Asia Pacific region. We do this in partnership with local organisations, including hospitals, universities and local NGOs. Our mission is to ‘repair bodies and rebuild lives’ and we do this through providing surgical services to those who could not otherwise afford or access these, and by building the capacity of local medical systems through our training and mentoring programs.

But that is not all that Turia does. She also works for Haapii, a foundation with the overall aim of providing kids in developing countries with the best educational resources possible. AND she provides online programs to mentor people to take part in Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. In 2016 she competed in her first Ironman competition. Of course on top of all of this are  tours, speaking engagements, interviews etc etc. She’s one busy lady. Passionate about life. Passionate about helping others. And passionate about her family.

I suspect that those who know her no longer see the scars that cover her body. She wears them with dignity. She makes no effort to hide them. Quite the opposite. They are on show. I suspect that Turia herself no longer ‘sees’ them either. They have become a part of who she is. She is far too busy celebrating life to be bothered by mere outward appearances.

I wonder how I would have dealt with it had I been in her shoes. I honestly don’t know. But this much I do know – we can be  far more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.

© Raili Tanska

Written in response to Lady Calen’s Sandbox Challenge #9

Steps for Peace
Let your inner light shine for all to see. 
Celebrate Life.
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38 thoughts on “Let Your Light Shine

  1. What an absolute beacon of light when she could so easily have succumbed to a glum life of darkness. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible story that otherwise I would never have found. I come to you via Bernadette at Haydon Musings and I am so glad I did!

  2. Wow! I can’t even think of anything else to say. When they say things happen for a reason I guess this is a good example. When you are growing up and wondering what your purpose in life is, you wouldn’t think of this, but THIS is definitely her purpose. Truly amazing.

  3. We so need to hear more stories like this. It’s all too easy to forget that there are bona fide heroes and heroines in this dismal day and age. Like the 15-year-old boy who saved the classroom full of kids in the school shooting while being shot through the door five times. He is the only wounded survivor left in the hospital, and his condition has been downgraded to critical. Such a waste of a noble young life…

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