When thinking about people we wanted to add to our community here at Brooke & Em, we knew that Meg Johnson is exactly the type of woman we are looking for. Not because she is beautiful, or a motivational speaker, or an author or a public figure with thousands of followers on YouTube. Though all of those things are true, the reason we love Meg so much is because she is real. She is raw and vulnerable and helps others know that they are not alone.
On March 6th 2004 at the age of 22 Meg accidentally jumped off a cliff while hiking with a friend in St. George Utah. In a mistaken instant, she became a c-7 quadriplegic. After 7 months and 11 surgeries she returned home where her mother would get her up every morning. Get her dressed. Brush her teeth. Then wheel her outside where she watched the grass grow, day after day. She had gone from being “normal, average, regular” to feeling so far disconnected from anything she had ever imagined for her life. She said that she “was so far removed from the wheelchair community that she didn’t even know somebody who knew somebody in a wheelchair". To say she felt lost would be an understatement.
It was then, reflecting on something she heard one of her doctors say when he thought she couldn’t hear him, that she realized that the only person who was going to be able to help her move on with her life was her. She started to ask the question that if she had died that day, would her life had made a difference to anyone but her.
She had her mom wheel her down to the local elementary school where she asked for something to do. She was assigned to Mrs. Smith 2nd grade class where she would sit in the hall and listen to them read while she cheered them on. Something miraculous happened while she performed this small act of service. She found her joy again. She discovered that serving people, no matter how small the act of service, made her feel liberated. She also discovered that this liberation made her feel beautiful again. Meg, who previously had given up wearing bright colors, began to feel the life come back to her spirit.
She realized that “you don’t have to be in a wheelchair to know what it feels like for life to be too hard to stand”. We all have struggles that make us feel disabled. We can all relate to the feeling of being paralyzed, even if we are physically ok.
Listening to those children read was just the beginning for Meg. She now travels all over speaking to people and telling her inspiring story of faith and triumph. She has written books, has her own podcast and founded the Miss Wheelchair Utah pageant. A pageant that is the largest wheelchair pageant in the nation.
She has shown us all that what seems like less, can actually turn out to be so much more stating:
“if I knew then what I know now, I would jump. I would willingly jump, I would happily jump, just to get where I am today".
To learn more about this amazing woman, visit her YouTube channel where she bravely shares her story and her daily struggles of life and being a wife, mother, and quadriplegic. The good, bad and downright hilarious stories will touch your heart. There is something there for everyone to relate to. You will laugh, cry, and feel more empowered when you get to know Meg. She is truly an example of strength and determination. That is why we are so happy to have her as part of our family.
To learn more about Meg's story: