“I definitely pull from my past experiences”
One hot and muggy 4th of July evening near Austin, TX, 10 year old Kiara Marshall was just another kid enjoying the fireworks and day’s festivities. Little did she know that evening would forever change the course of her life. While sitting on the hood of her uncle’s car with her friends, a drunk driver spun out of control, crashing into their car and pinning her legs between the two vehicles. The accident severed one of her legs completely and her second leg was saved by the surgeons and many surgeries that transpired through the course of her almost 12 month hospital stay. Kiara’s physical and mental healing would eventually take years.
“I wouldn’t say I fully recovered until I was in my early 20s. That’s when I started to fully accept my disability and really embrace it.... I knew that there was a purpose for me somewhere, that this all happened for some reason.”
Now, Kiara works as a fashion model representing inclusivity as well as with pre-teen girls teaching art as a medium for confidence, self esteem and as a stress management tool.
When we met Kiara, we were immediately enveloped by her gentle demeanor however, her fighting spirit was front and center. Kiara decided she was going to embrace what makes her different and never hide who she is.
Read below and see how Kiara is #UndeniablyResilient
NATURALLY KIARA @naturallykiara
C+C: One word to best describe you?
C+C: What is the best decision you ever made?
Kiara: When I decided I didn’t want to wear pants anymore. I told my prosthetist (the guy that makes my legs) - before I would get the foam cover so that it would match my real leg - I told him that for my new leg I didn’t want that. I just wanted a plain, hard cover, allblack, so that it would stand out. When I first got it i was like, “What the heck did I just do?” I couldn’t give it back, I have to wear it. I didn’t wear it for a couple weeks, and finally I told myself, “I have to wear it, I asked for it.” And i think that’s what brought on confidence. That one little thing changed my life.
C+C: What is the worst decision you ever made?
Kiara: Doubting myself. I didn’t give things enough time to actually set roots down and give things a chance.
C+C: When/where have you been the happiest?
Kiara: Honestly, here, in New York. This past year, living here, has been the happiest time in my life.
C+C: What advice would you give your younger self?
Kiara: To just breathe. Relax. It is going to be okay.
C+C: Fill in the blank "I am ___________ enough!"
Kiara: GOOD Enough!