(WQOW) -- An Ellsworth woman who was left paralyzed after she severed her spine falling through a trapdoor during a play rehearsal twenty years ago, now travels the country inspiring others.
Recently, Tasha Schuh stopped by the News 18 studios to promote her new book, in which she chronicles her life and love.
"I was told I was never going to walk again. I was going to be a quadriplegic. I was going to be a wheel chair for the rest of my life, and to me that was a death sentence. I could not imagine that being my life. And I thought my life was over," said Schuh. "When I began living life sitting in a wheelchair, I began to see just how strong I was. I had a choice, I had a choice to be happy."
Five years ago, Schuh met former News 18 meteorologist Doug Michaels.
"She gives me inspiration, even though she doesn't know it sometimes," said Michaels. "When you see somebody with the life that she has, and living and doing what she's able to do, using what she has to try and make a difference and try and make an impact on people, it makes an impact to those that are closest sometimes."
These days, Michaels take on a lot of the behind the scene responsibilities for Schuh. But speeches are just a small portion of the program. After her best friend's son died from suicide, Schuh created the 'pit crew movement' to help people who feel alone.
"The driver in NASCAR cannot win the race without this team of people. And it's so true, you look at this driver and if he tried to win this race alone, he'd be in the middle of the racetrack with flat tires and no gas. You can't win," said Schuh. "And that's what we created, because we want people to know that they're not alone and they're mindful of who's there for them when they're struggling. Who they can reach out to, and that it's okay to ask for help."
Schuh's new book also answers a number of questions about love and marriage.
"Probably the longest chapter in here is the one on intimacy and sex because people had so many questions: 'Can I have sex, can you have children?' A lot of people assume I can't have children. My reproductive organs did not fall out when I fell through the trap door. Everything is still there," said Schuh.
Se adds that if you get the book, it's okay to jump to chapter 12: "In the book it says 'Some of you are going to jump to this chapter right away, some of you are going to avoid it.' And the first person that wrote me and said that they had finished reading the book, it was within 24 hours, they said 'You were right, I jumped right to chapter 12 because I wanted to know the answers to the questions that I had."
Her candid nature may be a bit shocking, but perhaps the most surprising aspect of Schuh is what's she's taken from life after what she was given: "I actually love my life more today then when I was walking," said Schuh.
Schuh's new book is called 'My Next Move Forward'. You can purchase a copy of the book here.