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What "She Persisted" Means to Me

“Nevertheless, She Persisted” has kind of been my mantra throughout this whole thing. It’s more something that fell into my lap, rather than something that I chose, but I’ve resonated with it so strongly that I decided to have it tattooed on my wrist to have as a constant reminder.

I’ve never understood why people are so shocked when they find out that I’m going back to the University of Florida. In my mind, I’ve always been going back, from the day I left Shands Hospital in 2017, to the day I realized I couldn’t go back in the spring of 2018, to the day I arrived at Shepherd, somewhat aware of what had happened to me, but still not totally conscious of my circumstances.

It’s never been an option not to go back.

It’s never really been something that crossed my mind, partly because in the beginning I didn’t realize how bad my circumstances were, but partly because I knew I was going to work as hard as possible to go back.

I’ve realized that it would take more than paralysis, vision loss, chemo, new learning issues, etc. to keep me from achieving my goals. Because no matter what, I persist, I fight, I persevere. It’s really not an option not to.

People have always told me not to give up or that they’re so proud of me for not giving up, which is another thing that I’ve never understood.

I don’t know how to give up, but not because I don’t want to at times, but to me it’s just really not an option. To me, you just have to wake up in the morning and do what you have to do to survive, and not think about the days that will follow, or else it becomes too overwhelming.

You really just have to take it one day at a time.

It’s been a long and pretty miserable almost two years now, but nevertheless, I will persist. I will achieve my goal regardless. I will get back to the things I once loved, regardless. I will fight, regardless. I will one day have joy again, regardless.

Regardless of my situation, yesterday, today, or tomorrow, I will persist, and I hope you will too.

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Jul 28, 2019

This is awesome. You are an inspiration to so many, for sure!! We should all have this attitude 😍


Jul 25, 2019

Mare, it’s great to see you so motivated and ready to get back to it! I am so very proud of you!!


Marie Olney
Marie Olney
Jul 25, 2019

Mariel, I enjoyed reading your post. You are an inspiration. I have learned so much from watching you the last two years. God is definitely working thru you. I can't even imagine all you have gone through. But I am so proud and happy that you have and will continue to "persist".

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