Janine Shepherd's story reads like the plot of a Hollywood movie. A champion cross-country skier in training for the Winter Olympics, her life was irrevocably altered when she was hit by a truck on a bike ride. Doctors warned her parents that she was not expected to survive her extensive injuries and even if she recovered, she would never walk again. Janine's hopes of being an elite sportsperson were gone. But she refused to believe what medical staff were telling her and instead focused every sinew of her being on healing her broken body and crushed morale. After spinal surgery and months in the hospital, Janine returned home in a wheelchair.
Struggling to come to terms with her shattered Olympic dreams, and wondering what life could now offer, Janine's fighting spirit was rekindled watching small planes flying overhead. At that moment she said to herself, "If I can't walk, I'll fly". And fly she did. Janine's miraculous recovery and subsequent achievements are a testament to the power of the human spirit, a story that will move and inspire all who hear it.
Today, Janine Shepherd is a best-selling author and internationally renowned speaker who travels extensively in Australia and throughout the world sharing her story with others.
Janine has been featured on 60 Minutes, This is Your Life and Talking Heads, and her life story became a successful motion picture titled Never Tell Me Never starring Claudia Karvan. Janine was named one of Ten Outstanding Young People of the World by Junior Chamber International in 1998, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2001 for her work with the Australasian Spinal Research Trust.
Over many years, Janine has been inspired by the many people she has met on her travels, as they in turn have been motivated and moved by her. Janine has come to realise that everything she has learned from life's challenges can be distilled into one phrase and defined by one outstanding quality: that of acceptance.
Janine believes that acceptance is truly the greatest gift of all, and one that we need to nurture in order to move on from tragedy or loss to find fulfillment. The Gift of Acceptance, Janine's latest book, is a collection of her wisdom, insight and advice, a distillation of 25 years of struggle and learning.
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