Therapy is a beautiful thing and I’m so grateful that it was brought into my life because without it I would have been lost. Therapy has helped me physically and mentally to feel better about the new changes in my life. Before therapy I was truly depressed trying to figure how to adapt to my new life. I was so unaware of the amount of children who were diagnosed with disabilities. Every time I came for an appointment I was reminded that I was not alone and that there are other kids going through the same things as me. At my facility, I am involved in the Neuro Program. This includes physical therapy, psychology, occupational therapy, art therapy, recreation therapy, and education.

 All of these therapies have helped me get back on my feet again. I have worked my way up from a wheelchair, to a walker, to two crutches, and now one crutch. My physical therapists have put me through intense rehabilitation. They’ve taught me how to do regular things such as go up the stairs, put on my shoes, and how to walk while holding a drink. I was able to speak with a psychologist who walked me through coping mechanisms to deal with my challenges. My main objective was to learn how to acclimate to my physical and emotional needs in my everyday life. This facility will forever hold a special place in my heart because they have provided me new opportunities in life. 

mental health

Something that I rarely talk about on my page is mental health. I was 12 years old when my life turned upside down. Everything I knew and enjoyed was gone in a heartbeat. By the time I had my third spine surgery I was in a bad place. I was dealing with extreme body aches and pains, I hardly saw my friends, and I didn’t know what the future would hold for me. I had outbursts where I would scream and cry until I fell asleep, I didn’t want to be in my body anymore. My anxiety was at an all time high and I felt as though I had nowhere to escape. What I didn’t know was that my mental health had a huge impact on my physical health. 

Because I was so depressed my body was not able to heal properly. The more I fought with my negative thoughts the harder it was to get better. The day I stopped feeling my legs was the day I knew I had to change my thinking around. I had to insert positive thoughts into my head, I started to pray more and find resources to help me. I would speak positive words with my mom in the morning. I began to see the difference in my strength, my body aches calmed down and I was able to slowly walk again. Mental health is serious and it has completely altered my life. My mom always says “you have today to be sad but tomorrow is a new day and you need to pull yourself together.” This has helped me to not let myself go down that rabbit hole again. 

what has helped me with depression

  • Talking to a therapist 

  • Making a vision board of goals 

  • Finding something that made me happy and did it everyday ex: makeup, movies, drives


  • Noticing and being aware of my triggers 

  • Deep breathing and moving to a location where I feel safe 

  • Distracting myself ex: watching videos, listening to music, talking to others 


  • Words of affirmation ex: “I am worthy,” “I can overcome”

  • Getting up every morning to style myself ex: hair, clothes, makeup

  • Starting Malia’s Movement boosted my confidence because I was able to put my pain into something I was passionate about 


  • Accepting my insecurities and reminding myself that no one is made "perfect"

  • Finding what helps ex: physical therapy, prescribed medication, heat and ice packs, aids (wheelchair, walker, crutches)

  • Knowing that i'm not alone ex: finding support groups, following similar people on social media 

WHAT HAS HELPED ME WITH physical health

  • Eat healthier ex: minimizing fast foods 

  • Home exercises 

  • Check ups with my doctor 


  • Be patient, understanding, and a good listener 

  • Ask them to hang out and treat them normally 

  • Know that what they’re going through is difficult and try to be supportive 

WHAT HAS HELPED ME to prepare for surgery

  • Asking the doctor questions so that I'm prepared mentally and physically ex: asking about place, time, duration, & how my body will feel afterwards 
  • Prayer and listening to positive music or speeches
  • Clearing thoughts and keeping an open mind that the quicker I go in, the quicker I can get out and return to everyday life

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