Janine Shepherd was a champion cross country skier in training for the Winter Olympics when her life was irrevocably altered. Janine Shepherd was run over by a truck during a training bicycle ride to the Blue Mountains.
Janine Shepherd’s neck and back were broken in four places, her right arm, collarbone and five ribs fractured and she sustained massive internal injuries. Soon after her accident, Janine Shepherd learned to fly a small plane despite Doctor’s warnings that she would probably not survive and even if she did, never walk again. She’s gone on to regain the ability to walk, have three children and complete a degree in Physical Education.
Janine refused to believe what expert medical staff told her about her chances of any kind of recovery following her horrific bicycle accident.
Instead, Janine focused every sinew of her being on healing her broken body and crushed moral.
The small planes Janine watched fly overhead as she came to terms with her shattered Olympic dreams, rekindled her fighting spirit.
She made a decision: “If I can’t walk, I’ll fly.” And fly she did. While still covered in a full body plaster cast, Janine was lifted into an aircraft for her first flight. The moment changed Janine’s life forever.
Within a year Janine had her private pilot’s license. Despite remaining a partial paraplegic and with many physical challenges still ahead, she battled on to gain her commercial pilot’s license, her Instrument Rating, Twin Engine Rating and Instructor’s Rating.
As Janine Shepherd taught herself to fly, she also pushed her body to mend itself, forcing her legs to walk again, step by painful step.
Janine Shepherd’s greatest achievements are her three children doctors said she would never have. She has since gone on to finish her University degree in Physical Education.
Janine also went on to become a fully qualified aerobatics instructor.
Janine’s story of defying the odds and winning is both moving and inspiring.
Janine Shepherd was awarded “Most Outstanding Young Person in the World” by the Junior Chamber International, and appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2001. She has served on the board of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), as the youngest and only female director and is a patron of the Australasian Spinal Research Trust.
Janine Shepherd’s autobiographies have become classics in the survivor genre and have been best sellers. Her latest, ‘On My Own Two Feet’, was released in April 2008. Other books include the best seller, ‘Never Tell Me Never’, ‘Dare to Fly’, and ‘Reaching for Stars’.
Janine Shepherd’s life story was recently made into a feature film, also entitled Never Tell Me Never, starring well known Australian actress Claudia Karvan.
Janine Shepherd speaks about:
Natural, open and warm, Janine Shepherd speaks from the heart. Her infectious, engaging manner and personal approach make her a highly motivating keynote or after dinner speaker as she shows her audience how the worst possible situation can be turned around to achieve the best possible outcome.