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SCI Superstar: Tamara Mena

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Stunning right? Tamara Mena, a paraplegic from California, is one of the most positive women you’ll ever meet. She’s an ambassador for Esko Bionics, the cutting-edge biotech company that creates exoskeletons for people with paralysis, as well as a model and motivational speaker.

Why she’s fearless

Born and raised in Leon, Mexico, Tamara moved to California with her mom when she was 13. It was in the US is where this over-achiever in school set her sights on college. But in 2005, when she was on a weekend getaway in Mexico with her boyfriend, the taxi they were in hit a horse on the road, with the horse landing on the car killing her boyfriend, and paralyzing Tamara instantly.

After returning home for months of rehab, she decided to not let the tragedy she went through diminish her spirit…or her ambition. She was determined to return to college and graduate with her Bachelor’s degree, which she finally achieved when she received a communication studies degree from California State University Stanislaus. .

After graduation, Tamara launched her motivational speaking career and right away she got one of the coolest gigs imaginable – she was selected as a test pilot for Esko Bionics, the world-renowned company creating exoskeletons for people with spinal cord injuries.

In 2011, because of this opportunity, she was able to walk again Mexico. So cool! She demonstrated Esko at “La Ciudad de Las Ideas,” a festival that brings together the world’s greatest thinkers. She’s also demoed the exoskeleton on Sabado Gigante and on The Doctors TV show. Watch her walk at the festival

And last November, Tamara crossed the Atlantic to Rome, Italy, to use both her modeling and speaking skills in one awesome event – the huge annual disabled fashion show, Modelle & Rotelle. This show features dozens of stunning women wheelchair-users. Watch Tamara report from Modelle & Rotelle

What’s next?

Tamara as of late has definitely tapped into her feminine side, and she does it like no one else. This past March she was a contestant in Nuestra Belleza Latina, a beauty pageant/reality show (hosted by Univision; an able-bodied event). She looked so good and so poised amongst all those two-leggers. Tamara surely knows how to work it (not to mention having absolutely no fear). Love, love, love her. Watch her audition tape

And Tamara has added another awesome ability to her portfolio – wheelchair latin ballroom. Last August, she danced at the American DanceWheels Foundation annual dance event hosted by the Cheryl Burke Dance Studio. Watch her dance in a beautiful red dress

Not to be out done, Tamara is giving back. She hosts a support group, the “Young Women’s SCI Support Group,” at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where she shares her wisdom with women who are in the midst of figuring out life with a spinal cord injury. Learn more

Beautiful both inside and out, a shining beacon of positivity, Tamara’s spinal cord injury experience…one of sharing love and positivity with others is certainly, without question, one for the records.

Visit her site: Tamara Mena

Have you met Tamara Mena? Have you attended one of her support groups?

Watch her videos!

Tamara Mena modeling for Ti Light Wheelchairs

Tamara Mena reporting for the adapted Italian fashion event, Modelle & Rotelle

Tamara Mena’s audition for La Nuestra Belleza Latina 2013 pageant

Tamara Mena walks again in Mexico at La Cuidad de Las Ideas festival