As a young girl, Sydney Collier’s dreams were of competing as an equestrian in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. But then her mother took her in for a routine eye exam when Sydney was seven years old. At the appointment, they were told that Sydney needed glasses. That would have been the end of it, but instead of ordering glasses, Sydney’s mother took her to an ophthalmologist instead, who discovered something behind Sydney’s right eye.
That “something” was a tumor caused by Wyburn-Mason syndrome, which is a very rare condition in which the veins and arteries within a person’s brain don’t separate with capillaries as they typically do. The syndrome causes a tumor deep in the brain and often it isn’t detected until after people die from a massive bleed in their brain.
Sydney went on to undergo a number of hospitalizations and medical treatments for the Wyburn-Mason Syndrome. However, she still lost full vision in her right eye; is half-blind in her left eye and had a stroke that left her paralyzed on her left side. Her constant companion is her service dog, Journey, who acts as Sydney’s cane by walking alongside her.
After meeting Paralympian equestrian Jonathan Wentz, Sydney started training to become a para-equestrian. This is her first Paralympics Games and she will be competing as both an individual equestrian and as part of a team with Wesley Dunham’s Western Rose.
How has your life’s journey been? Do you feel like there’s something you still want to accomplish, like finding a job, but you’ve had a difficult time doing so, or can’t find the right work from home job for you? If you’re an American with disabilities on SSI or SSDI who wants to return to the workforce, we want to hear from you. Find out how NTI can work with you to help you get a work from home job. http://www.nticentral.org/learnmore
BIO: Mary E. Hart is the Digital Communications Specialist for NTI. She is also a freelance writer, editor and content strategist, specializing in writing copy that converts. Previously, she worked in Demand Generation marketing for UBM Tech and Ziff Davis Enterprise. In her spare time, Mary is working on the next great ghost novel.