Created: 02/11/2014 6:56 PM KAALtv.com
By: Brianna Long
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- There was a special guest Tuesday at the Kasson-Mantorville Middle School, a motivational speaker by the name of Tasha Schuh. She travels around the country sending a message to kids about overcoming incredible odds. Odds, that she has overcome herself.
In 1997, when Tasha was in high school, she loved to sing. She starred in her school's rendition of Grease, and then went on to play a part in The Wizard of Oz. And it was in opening night of that play, that changed Tasha's life forever.
"As I was standing on stage, helping with a scene change, they removed the cover off of a trap door, directly behind me and someone told me to move out of the way and I did. And someone told me to move out of the way and I did. I took one step backward and my foot went through nothing and I fell 16 feet to a cement floor, breaking my neck, severely crushing my spinal cord," said Schuh.
The fall left Tasha paralyzed. She was 16-years-old, and learned she would never be able to walk again. And because her stomach muscles were paralyzed, she was told she would never be able to sing again either.
"So much sadness, just so many overwhelming feelings of, that my life was never going to be good," said Schuh.
But it was what Tasha did accomplish, learning to drive, graduating college, and getting married, that made her realize she wanted to help others.
"I need to share this message of hope, and inspiration, and just that anything can be overcome, especially if you put your mind to it," said Schuh.
And that's the message these kids heard, loud and clear.
"That she can come back from a huge drop like that and be paralyzed and she can still do so much stuff," said Fifth Grader Kyler Kujath.
"I thought it was amazing. Like she never let anything bring her down, with her accident. She kept trying," added fellow fifth grader Madison Cummings.
Tasha hopes the kids will focus on what they do have, instead of what they don't. And to prove it, she finished off her speech, with a song. Something she was told, would never be possible.
If you want to learn more about Tasha, or the book she wrote, you can check out her website at http://www.tashaschuh.com/Home.html