Berks

Woman turns tragedy into inspiration

Woman turns tragedy into inspiration

READING, Pa. - "Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are." The quote is from former United States President Theodore Roosevelt. It is also motivation for Janet Oberholtzer from Mohnton, Berks County.

"It'll take time. It's not a walk in the park. It's hard work," said Oberholtzer.

She almost lost her life in 2004 when her family traveled to California.

A car accident involving several tractor trailers left her hospitalized.

"I woke up 12 days later," she said. "They had kept me in a medical coma."

Then she discovered her leg had been severely mangled. A large portion of calf was ripped off the bone.

Despite being up and running just three months after the accident, Oberholtzer still struggled with depression. She said that she was ashamed to show people her mangled leg.

But her friends encouraged her to go to counseling.

"It really helped me just process the trauma. Realize hard work is still needed. I also needed to emotionally accept it and come to grips that way."

Oberholtzer has taken her story, and put it into a memoir that was published just last week, titled: Because I Can.

She says, "Each time you share your story, orally, or written, it's part of the healing process."

And healing means running about fives miles four times a week along the Schuylkill River Trail in Berks County.

In November she plans to run a half marathon, and in a year she hopes to complete a full marathon.

You can follow Janet's story here.

Oberholtzer indicates she hopes that her story will inspire those who believe the challenges of life are impossible to overcome.


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