For some folks, tragedy can really take a toll on them and change their lives completely. But for others, it's an opportunity to see what they're made of. Just ask Manami, a 33-year-old violinist who lost her arm in a horrible car crash in 2004. But just because life got in the way, Manami wouldn't let anything step in the way of her happiness.
In 2004, 33-year-old Manami Ito was in a horrible car accident and lost her right arm. After such a terrible loss, most people would lay in bed and never get up. But she wasn’t about to let this stop her from enjoying life.
A lot has happened since the accident. Ito could have put her life on hold, but she didn’t succumb to the pain. She found a way to balance her physical rehabilitation with her studies. Eventually, her hard work paid off and she became a certified nurse.
She figured that if they could play sports, then so could she. In 2007, she took up swimming, and she made it to 4th place in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. Then in 2012, she made it to 8th place in the London Paralympics.
She started playing the violin with a regular prosthetic arm. But eventually, she received a limb that was more lightweight and made playing the violin so much easier.
She's Japan's only one-armed violinist and she's really awesome. Her life might have hit a snag in 2004, but Ito found an inspiring way to turn an advantage into a disadvantage.
**In the video below, she plays "Thread" by Miyuki Nakajima, at the Takarazuka City General Welfare Center, in Hyogo Prefecture.** If Ito doesn't inspire you to go after your dreams, nothing will!