Not Holding Back

“I have to keep going. I have too many fun things that I want to do!”

Elsha 4

Meet Elsha Stockseth. At eleven months, it was discovered that she had muscular dystrophy, when she couldn’t sit up anymore like the other kids her age. “Honestly I didn’t really react because I didn’t know anything else,” said Elsha.

One day as a child, Elsha began to cry and told her Mom she was sad because she wasn’t like the other kids. Her Mom thought, “Oh great, we are going to have that talk.” Her Mom asked, “What makes you feel different?” Elsha told her Mom, “I can’t blow a bubble with my gum like the other kids.” So her Mom taught her.

“Sometimes there were things that I didn’t want to do but my Mom wouldn’t let me just not do them,especially if there was a way I could,” said Elsha. Thus, began her journey to do the impossible, despite being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

Elsha’s accomplishments include:

  • Square dancing. Elsha decided to give it a try after some encouragement from her Mom and enjoyed it–especially when she got to drive in circles in her electric wheel chair.
  • Snow tubing
  • River floating

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  • Going on a waterslide
  • Racing in 5 and 10K races

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  • Participating in art shows

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  • Attending multiple high school dances

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  • Starting her own holiday card business to help fund the African Well Fund. “I could relate to the African children since I couldn’t eat well and they are starving, yet always happy,” said Elsha. Last year, she was able to sell over 2,000 of her holiday cards.

Elsha 3

  • Meeting two real-life astronauts, including one who was on the space shuttle Columbia, when it exploded on reentry.

Elsha 1

  • Touring the Kennedy Space Center and going to the launch pad while the space shuttle was on it.
  • Maintaining a GPA of 4.0. “I always studied and had great teachers,” said Elsha, “I guess I just worked really hard for the 4.0 and didn’t give up.”
  • Meeting her favorite band, U2.

And Elsha doesn’t intend to have her list end. “My mom says that I make her tired because I am always planning or doing ten different things,” she says.

Ask yourself:

1.       What dreams do I have?

2.       What stands in my way of accomplishing them?

3.       How can I overcome those obstacles to achieve them?

If Elsha continues to fulfill her dreams, so can you!

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