The gym is a place most people go to get healthy, but for one Brazilian woman, it was where she ended up paralyzed. Marcelle Mancuso, a 23-year-old fitness enthusiast, had a freak accident at the gym that left her paralyzed from the neck down for a full month. She says as soon as the back of her head hit the floor, she lost all movement in her body. Mancuso ended up breaking the fifth vertebrae in her neck, knocked another one out of place and squashed a third, all of which compressed her spinal cord. Doctors diagnosed her with tetraplegia (or quadriplegia), a cervical injury that results in paralysis of all four limbs. “The doctors did not know if I would walk again or if I would stay on a bed forever.” Although they weren’t sure if she’d ever heal, she says she started to wiggle her fingers and toes after three days, and after a month, she was walking with the help of a walker. She's now back at the gym and said she's more active than ever, proving that nothing can stand between a woman and her passion!
Permanent make-up artist Claire Louise Willis does something amazing in her spare time;she offers a free service tattooing lifelike areolas - the coloured area of skin that surrounds the nipple or teat - onto women after they have had theirs removed or disfigured during surgery. The innovative technique uses detailing and shading to mimic a real areola and give a 3D appearance to a woman’s nipple area. In the past three years, Willis estimates that she’s tattooed areolas onto 40 breast cancer survivors, often with life-changing results. Willis, who has been a cosmetic tattoo artist for seven years now, decided to set up the free service for breast cancer survivors three years ago. While she hadn’t been personally affected by breast cancer when she started the venture (although her gran was later diagnosed with the disease), she said that as a woman and mum, she can appreciate how deeply women could be affected by surgery and felt she had a duty to use her skills to help others. Willis’ work is not just about aesthetics, the tattoos hold a much deeper meaning for the women and can make a huge difference to their lives, it can restore a feeling of wholeness and normality lost through the disease. As demand for Willis’ service is incredibly high (as she puts it: “there’s only one of me and thousands of women who need it done”). As a result, she’s now offering to train permanent makeup artists in other areas of the UK so they can offer a similar service to locals.
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
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