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Check Out Stephanie Darnell’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Darnell.

Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
At 24, I was having fun, living a normal life as a yoga teacher, and suddenly was hospitalized with two large masses in my brain stem. I went undiagnosed in the hospital for two months. I would see all kinds of doctors every day who were trying to figure out what was wrong. I could not walk, talk or eat. The doctors suggested a biopsy in my brain stem, and I agreed.

I was told that this was one of the most dangerous surgeries to perform because of the sensitive area of the brain stem. I just wanted answers!The biopsy confirmed that the tumors weren’t cancerous. I was so confused waking up from brain surgery. I was in so much pain. My recovery has been slow ever since the surgery. I have been in and out of the hospital for four years now. I have gone through almost all of the neurological rehabilitation programs in DFW. I use a walker and wheelchair as mobility aids. I am still very passionate about yoga and exercise. The thing that’s bringing me joy right now is Aerial yoga! I want people to know it’s possible to continue doing things that bring them joy, no matter what their ability.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Not smooth at all. No way. I am still trying to recover to walk again. I fall all the time. Some days my body just is not feeling it and we rest. There are major limitations with insurance and therapy- being on disability and paying for PT out of pocket. There are limitations for getting transportation to where I need to go. I struggle with lots of symptoms. They can be different every day. I also went through a breakup with my fiance, that was very hard. My struggle and stress level is always high. It’s hard to balance being a patient and a person. It can be dehumanizing.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am one of the most positive and determined human beings I’ve ever met. My ability to roll with life’s punches is my biggest blessing and talent.I am a writer. I’m working on a few articles for yoga magazines. I am also working on my Instagram as a recovery & yoga blog. I teach chair yoga classes. Follow me on Instagram!

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
So many. Cathy Hutchison, Mentor & friend. Melanie Hoy, friend, Carla Sherman, caretaker, Sharon Darnell, caretaker, Sean Darnell, brother, Stephen Darnell, brother, My whole family, The Sherman family.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Laura McCarthy Photography

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