Tasha is an incredible person who demonstrates remarkable strength and resilience on a daily basis. Her willingness to serve others through her inspirational story is an amazing example of faith, strength and determination.
  Senator of Minnesota, John Howe 
Without Change, there would be  no butterflies.  
Inspirational Speaker

Growing Up

Growing up I was a happy-go-lucky kid.  I was raised in a great home with wonderful parents and two older siblings.  Our family was very busy, as my parents' owned the local grocery store in a small town in Wisconsin.

In school I was very active in volleyball, theater, choir, band, basketball, National Honor Society and SADD.  I also took piano lessons, voice lessons, worked at my parents store, babysat, and was in 4-H.  As a teenager, I was happy and really enjoyed life, but I deep down I had questions about life and really felt I was missing something.  I began to search for more by making poor choices.  I really thought these things would make me feel whole but I was severely mistaken. 

Tasha's Last Step Backward

My sophomore year in high school, I began getting involved in theater.  I loved to sing so I auditioned for the musical, “Grease.”  I had hoped for a chorus role, but I guess I was a better singer than I thought because I got the lead role as “Sandy.”  I was so excited.  Performing was a great experience so I auditioned for the “The Wizard of Oz” my junior year.  I was cast as a chorus member and was looking forward to being part of the technical side of theater. 

We had practiced for two months and were down to the last week before the performance. It was very hectic with so many rehearsals.  Also, the previous weekend a good friend of mine was in a major car accident.  I was really worried about her, and had a hard time being at play practice.  It was Tuesday, November 11, 1997, and little did I know that as I worried about Sarina’s future, my future was about to change forever. 

As a chorus member, we were required to do scene changes.  A scene change was supposed to take 30 seconds.  However, the previous night one particular scene took 6 minutes!  Because this scene change took so long, our positions were changed.  As I was in position for the scene change, unbeknownst to me
a trap door was removed behind me. Someone told me to move out of the way, and I took one step back and my foot went through nothing. I fell 16 feet to a cement floor.  That day my life forever changed. When I arrived at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester MN, I learned that I had severely crushed my spinal cord at the C-5 level which left me a quadriplegic.  The prognosis was that I would never walk again.  I was confused, sad, angry, and depressed.  I couldn’t imagine my life being in a wheelchair, and really wanted to give up.  I thought there was no point in living and that I had no future.

As time progressed, though, I decided that even though this situation was unfair I needed to have a positive attitude.  This was a great decision because it has helped my outlook on life immensely.


Since then I finished high school and decided that I would go on to college. I attended Winona State University and graduated in December 2003 with a major in communication studies and a minor in music.  I then moved home and started the following fall at Maranatha College for my bachelor’s degree in theology in which I graduated in June of 2007.

Today I have overcome so many things that I never thought possible.  I have since learned how to drive which is only one of the many obstacles that I have overcome.  God has made my life whole and has given me peace and purpose.  I have learned so much about life, myself and faith that I could never go back.  I have learned the importance of attitude, and that anything can be overcome. Some days I have to pinch myself because I can't believe how good my life is.  And, the frosting on the cake of my life has been my recent marriage to Doug Michaels - the man God had me wait for!

I have been speaking for churches, organizations and schools for over 7 years, and my desire to share my life story remains. My passion is to see lives inspired, empowered, and ultimately transformed.