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Is always looking for adventure. As a fearless child in the Pacific Northwest, she climbed trees, caught frogs, and held her own with any boy in town. She brought that true-grit, fire-in-her-belly attitude to the Navy… and to her recovery from the unthinkable. At the age of 19, she was sexually assaulted by a fellow sailor and thrown off a cliff, left for dead. She survived—but woke up in a hospital hours later paralyzed from the neck down, with doctors giving no hope for recovery. They underestimated the spirit and stubbornness of their patient.
In her book, “Falling Up: My Wild Ride from Victim to Kick-Ass Victory”, Dana recounts her agonizing and sometimes comical struggle from total dependence to doing the “impossible”: walking again. In the process, she learned the importance of forgiveness, discovered the awe-inspiring power of belief and perseverance, and transformed herself from silent victim to outspoken advocate and inspiration for people everywhere. After all, sometimes an unexpected fall can lead a person to reach for magnificent heights.