“I said to myself, either you screw up or you come out alive. I chose the latter” – different

Life lessons from Maria Manakou: “I said to myself, either you screw up or you get out in life. I chose the second

Maria Manakou is a person who never misses a moment smiling and never puts it down. A girl with such strength of soul that makes her capable of even giving her life for a loved one.

Maria has been walking continuously and relentlessly since she was 2 on very difficult paths. Paths that trouble her, paths that make her hurt, nevertheless, her smile is such that it gives you the impression that nothing scares her and that no matter what happens, Maria will remain smiling and strong.

Maria Manakou: Let’s get to know her better.

“I was born on 25/5/1985 in South Africa. My mother is Cypriot and my father is half Greek and half African. I also have a younger sister and since 1987 we live permanently in Cyprus.
I was a healthy child and very lively. Unfortunately, when I turned two years old, I had a terrible car accident…

We were walking together with my mother and we were on the sidewalk. She was holding my hand but at some point I got away from her and ran down the street. A car was passing and hit me. It all happened in a matter of seconds…

They immediately took me to the hospital. I had to be operated on and hospitalized for quite some time.

My parents thought that I would be completely healthy but unfortunately, the doctors informed them that I will remain a paraplegic.

I don’t remember myself running around, playing in the yard… But I remember when I turned 10, that’s when I started feeling really bad. The hardships were like hell, a daily hell. I also remember how closed off I was. After 18 I changed, I went out more and saw myself becoming more and more social. When I finished school, I studied secretarial work. I am involved in basketball, handball (bicycle specially for disabled people) and dancing.

I knew from a very young age that you cannot overcome disability. You live it every day. You just learn, live and come to terms with it. I used to say to myself: “you either screw up or come out alive”. I chose to come out alive!!! Also, I always learned to say: “there is no I can’t but I don’t want to”. I have friends and I go out often. I dream and always smile! I love life and people.

I am asking all the people who happen to be experiencing similar situations to me to go out, make friends and find a hobby to do. Only in this way will they feel beautiful. To smile and look, to enjoy the sky and the sun because that’s the only way our soul is filled with strength and optimism!”

THE Maria Manakou is the living example that reflects the phrase “Never give up”. No matter how many problems and setbacks life throws at you, you have to smile and try for the best. Let us all be inspired by Mary and try to be like her. And as she says: “Smile, look and enjoy the sky and the sun because that’s the only way our soul is filled with strength and optimism.”


Source: διαφορετικό by www.diaforetiko.gr.

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