Adversity was not meant to break you down, it was meant to make you WISER.
On June 22, 2006 Margarita was a single mother of three and seven months pregnant when a man broke into her home and shot her in the neck. The bullet pierced her Spinal Cord causing her to be paralyzed from the neckline down. When she woke up from a comma two weeks later, she learned her unborn child did not survive and her cousin Jose Alvardo had been shot and killed that night as well.
This life altering tragedy which was meant to destroy her not only impacted her life, but also her family’s lives. Margarita was left with two basic choices. Either give up and be a victim for the rest of her life, or be a warrior, turning the trials and adversity she and her family faced into opportunities to encourage, inspire, and change other people's lives. She chose the second option and has reached people all over the world with her amazing story, messages, and publications.
Adults and young people alike are captivated by her story and messages. As a Spinal Cord Injury survivor, a speaker and an author of a children’s book series and countless articles, dancer and model, Margarita has inspired people all over the world. Whether performing or speaking to an entire student body at a public school about making the right choices, a church congregation about her faith in God, or to a crowd at a conference about making a difference, Margarita always receives enthusiastic responses and standing ovations. People love to hear the story of a warrior woman who when faced with insurmountable odds, kept up the fight and through her faith, positive attitude, and personal determination was able to overcome the obstacles that lay before her.
After 13 years of living life as a wheelchair user and raising three children as a single mother, there is almost nothing that Margarita has not experienced. From transitioning emotionally into the disability community to adapting physically she has confronted and overcome both physical and social barriers. She has even become a grandmother or as she calls herself ”Glam’ma”!
Margarita shares her experiences as a form of peer support to help individuals who are newly injured and even seasoned Spinal Cord Injury survivors and as well as mobility impaired individuals get through their own struggles. In doing so, her writing helps remind her of all the things she overcome and how powerful her faith is.
”It is through reading that we gain knowledge and grow perspective of our circumstances by reading or listening to others share their own story”~ Margaria
Margarita is an Ambassador for the Abilities Expo as well as Wheel;life. As an Ambassador she contributes articles on her personal experiences and journey as a single mother with a Spinal Cord Injury who uses a power wheelchair for her mobility.
Margarita also writes about Disability Awareness, Inclusion, and the importance of Diversity. She is the author of a children's book series called Rolling with Me & Friends. Each book touches on topics that teach Disability Etiquette and being kind to others.
Her writing is one more platform that she uses to transform lives of all ages and abilities and further her mission to engage, educate and empower!
”You made me cry!”, "Wow! What an amazing performance!", "Your so graceful!” These are just a few of the many comments from audience members after watching Margarita Elizondo dance.
Margarita’s tear jerking emotional storytelling style performances are sure to move you. Her performances aim to invoke emotional and physical empowerment through dance. She has a special vision to prove that dance is therapeutic and anyone can dance regardless of age, experience, or ability. Through dance she strives to celebrate diversity, promote positive expression, and show that we can create beautiful things through music and movement regardless of ability.
She was a dancer prior to her injury and discovered wheelchair dance after her injury through San Diego Wheelchair Dancers Organization. It became her therapy and helped her regain movement and strength in her upper extremities. In 2016 she learned lyrical dance through choreographer Tam Warner.
Margarita now travels the country as an Abilities Expo Ambassador sharing her love for dance, she also performs at schools and local events, teaching others that anyone can dance!
”I used to lay in my hospital bed crying because I thought I would never dance again. It was even too painful to listen to music. I learned to transform that pain into dance moves and express my pain through movement, in doing so I realized I am healing my body both emotional and and physically ~ Margarita
Copyright 2018 Margarita Elizondo
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