When Donna Hopkins went into the hospital for surgery to remove fibroid, little did she know how that decision would change the rest of her life. Complications from the surgery, a blood clot, caused doctors to amputate her left leg.
Hard as it seemed, she didn’t back down, she did not give up, she beat it like she beat breast cancer; a feat she achieved twice.
She shared her experiences in her book The Other Side of Victory, how God was her crutch and the mental and physical drain that went into getting to accept how things are now.
Now an active competitor in track and field and founder of the Hopkins Breast Cancer Inc., an organization that financially helps people battling breast cancer in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. She also works with prosthetic companies.
“When taking off my clothing, I saw my life’s battle scars, but the most revealing was the internal scars that weren’t showing on the surface. The first step was learning to love me all over again and accepting that person,” she said in an interview with Black Enterprise.
It is always important, as Donna’s story shows, to remain strong as people will see your disability as a disease, say things that would hurt, though sometimes unintentionally. For her, she drew strength from a friend who told her he would treat her the same because she the same person with or without her left leg. This is key. We should learn from this. When people are down, don’t kick them. Instead, help them back up.
“Happiness comes and goes, you can be happy one minute and sad the next, but if you have joy it’s always there, it will leap up at the most needed moment. So, the joy was never taken from my life; it is the thing that kept me going with every tragedy,” she said when discussing how she navigated the dark periods of her life.
Bad things do happen to good people. The trick is to not let failure or ill luck keep us away from our dreams; to Never Give Up.