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After being run over by a truck during a training bicycle ride, losing most of her blood, broken multiple bones, suffering head and spinal injuries, doctors warned that Janine Shepherd was not expected to survive her ordeal. Even if by some small chance she recovered, she would never walk again.
Coming to terms with her shattered Olympic dreams, refusing to believe what expert medical staff was telling her about her chances of any kind of recovery; Janine focused every sinew of her being on healing her broken body and crushed morale.
Janine Shepherd’s fighting spirit was rekindled watching small planes flying overhead. She made a decision: “If I can’t walk, I’ll fly.” And fly she did. While still covered in a full body plaster cast, Janine was lifted into an aircraft for her first flight. That moment changed her life forever.
Within a year she had her private pilot’s license. Despite remaining a partial paraplegic and with many physical challenges still ahead, she battled on to gain her commercial pilots license, her Instrument rating, her twin engine rating, and her Instructor’s rating. She then went on to become a fully qualified aerobatics instructor. While doing all of this, she finished her university studies; she holds a Bachelor Degree in Human Movement Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Education.
And all the while she pushed her body to mend itself, forced her legs to walk again, step by painful step. Although doctors said she would never have children, Janine says her greatest achievement is her three wonderful children.
Ms. Shepherd’s story of defying the odds and winning is both moving and inspiring. The title of her bestselling book, Never Tell Me Never, says it all. Janine has since written more books: Dare to Fly, which was prompted by overwhelming public reaction to her first book, Reaching for Stars and The Gift of Acceptance. Her autobiographies have become best-sellers and classics in the survivor genre. Her life story was recently made into a feature film, also entitled Never Tell Me Never, starring well known Australian actress Claudia Karvan.
Janine Shepherd is much in demand as one of the world’s most sought after inspirational speakers. Countless listeners have been captivated by the inspiring story of this remarkable young woman and her story of incredible courage and strength. It is a testament to the power of the human spirit and one that will move and inspire all.
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