Hello, I'm Michelle. I'm a burn survivor, equestrian, identical twin sister, daughter, student, and dog mom of my mini Aussiedoodle, Eli. I call Minnesota home, but enjoy traveling, especially in the mountains. I love horses, dogs, tea, yoga, and adventure.
When I was two years old I was burned on over 91% of my body in a house fire. The doctors said I had a grim chance of surviving, and if I did, I could lose my legs, arms, and eyesight, never walking or talking again. I proved them wrong! Since then I have been in the operating room over 80 times and have endured a lot of therapy and treatments to regain my health. As a young burn survivor I have learned how to navigate life with my scars on my sleeves; I take life by the reins!
After attending a camp for burn survivors in Colorado at age fourteen, I fell in love with horses. I grew up learning how to take care of my horse and other animals, and ultimately fell in love with competing. Being goal-oriented, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Animal Science - Equine Management and as a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH Intl.) Certified Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instructor in December 2015. I am now an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and pursuing my master’s degree in Strategic Leadership and Business Administration.
My goal is to combine my love and passion for horses and helping people. Most importantly, I want to empower and inspire others to make the most out of life and be the best version of themselves.
To learn more, check out my book project.
A few photos of my recovery process after my burn injury
Story Behind My Tattoo
My burn injury occurred on May 19th, 1996. On the nineteenth anniversary of my burn injury on May 19th, 2015 I got the tattoo, Survivor not Victim careful placed on the back of my neck.
Throughout my recovery process I learned there is a huge difference between your mindset and the words you use to describe yourself. I learned the important difference between having the victim vs survivor mindset. I got this tattoo to remind everyone else that I am a survivor not a victim. I have overcome my injury, I am not a victim to it! I have survived it and made the most of life!