Twenty two years ago on a dark and rainy fall day, Jane was severely injured in a head-on collision on the Malahat Highway while driving home from Nanaimo to Victoria. The accident shattered every bone in her face, broke her left leg in 16 pieces and caused a bleed in her brain.

Not only did this catastrophic event affect Jane both physically and mentally – it impacted her family, in particular her daughter, friends and the classroom of students Jane taught.

“The physical aspect is one thing – I’m a miracle of the health care system, but the emotional is ongoing,” says Jane. “As a single parent the hardest part of my recovery was repairing my relationship with my daughter. The accident affected her deeply. I believe we can all heal, but we can’t do it alone, we need each other and the relationships I have made during this experience are truly amazing.”

The doctors said she may never walk again, but Jane rose to the occasion beating all odds and after 10 months of physiotherapy and several operations later, Jane was walking and back teaching high school. While Jane is grateful to be alive, she works hard through meditations and yoga to keep her spirits up and her attitude positive.

Three years ago Jane was introduced to the Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association (VTRA), a United Way funded community partner. VTRA works with children and adults with disabilities to promote their physical, psychological and social well-being.She has seen incredible improvements in her body as a result of her weekly classes with KC, her horse – she has better balance, core strength and spinal alignment.

“I never forget I was given a second chance. I feel fortunate to see my grandchildren, to drive my car, to ride a horse. There may be no tomorrow for any of us so let’s do our loving, riding and cooking right this second.”

Jane appreciates every aspect of her life and thanks donors, like you, for supporting United Way because you are helping the entire person: mind, body and soul. “United Way is significant to me because the whole person can be attended to through the variety of services. Your life can change on a dime and United Way is here to help.”