Mom Who Relies on Wheelchair to Get Around Is Still Modeling After Injury Leaves Her Paralyzed
Sunshine King is not only a model, dancer, actor, CEO, massage therapist teacher and mother — she is a survivor of violence who accomplishes all her tasks while paralyzed in a wheelchair.
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After a violent incident in 2004 that King said turned her world "upside down," she was paralyzed from the neck down and had to endure months of recovery to teach herself the most basic of movements.
"I had to re-learn how to sit up properly, bathe, to dress, and learn how to transfer and operate my wheelchair... just learn how to find normalcy again with this paralysis," King told InsideEdition.com.
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But she persevered, and after months of rehabilitation, she has become an inspirational example of overcoming obstacles through strength and positivity, even taking to the runway during New York Fashion Week — twice.
King's inspiration has been her passion for dance and modeling, which "had to stay alive," she said, and allow her to connect with others.
"I love the stage," she said. "It's very joyful to be able to have that moment and own it and own the stage. You're sharing yourself, your soul, your desires, your dreams on stage for hundreds of others."
But her biggest dream, she said, is helping others through Sunshine Models on Wheels, the organization she founded that supports models with similar challenges, and "to be an extra voice for people with spinal cord injuries and survivors of domestic violence."
King also helps others through massage therapy, a practice she says interested her before her injury, and wound up helping her recovery.
"That helped me with my own personal healing, and being able to share that with others is really good," she said, believing that anything is possible, even with disabilities.
"We all have different disabilities, so be open-minded and try new things," she added. "Anything out there, we can do, we just do it in adapted ways. Don't limit yourself based on your disability. Your abilities are amazing."
King believes in finding inner peace and happiness and "to live each day with a purpose."
"No matter how catastrophic your life has been, you have to keep your dreams alive and stay humble. Dream big and stay awesome because your life is all you have. Live each day to the max."
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