Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
How Tiphany Adams went from a horrific crash to the starting line
Given a 5% chance of living, this will be her fourth Wings for Life World Run.
Aged 17, Tiphany Adams was given just a 5% chance of living after a horrific car crash. On Sunday, the 35-year-old will be on the start line for the Red Bull Wings for Life World Run.
For her, it is a chance to celebrate how far she has come from the life-changing spinal cord injury she suffered.
“I was pronounced dead at the scene,” she recalls nearly two decades on, the sole survivor of a crash in which a drunk driver produced a horrifying impact on 130mph (210kmh). When rescuers found her still breathing, her chances of survival were deemed incredibly slim.
“It was like a black abyss,” she says of the time, making the decision to live each day to the fullest despite injuries which left her with no movement or feeling below her belly button.
Adams, who has taken part in Wings for Life World Run since 2015, said: “Finally, there’s a foundation advocating for a cure for spinal cord injury – actually putting in the footwork and getting the research done.
“I am honoured to take part in the Wings for Life World Run, as it helps educate the world about an injury that affects thousands, if not millions, worldwide.”
Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that between 250,000 and 500,000 new spinal cord injuries occur annually, and road accidents like Adams’ are responsible for roughly half.
Wings for Life is a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation with the single mission to find a cure by funding the most promising research projects worldwide, and scientists agree the possibilities for significantly improving everyday functions and finding a cure are growing ever stronger.
“Am I running yet? No,” Adams states. “But will I be in the future? I pray to God so.”
Today, Adams is on a mission to inspire others, and she has been the subject of TV shows and documentary filmmakers.
Overcoming misconceptions about the capabilities of people with spinal cord injury is a passion. For example, when Adams first tried to join a gym after her injury, she recalled, “It was, ‘you can’t be a member here. We don’t have ‘adaptive’ equipment for you’.”
Undeterred, Adams refused to take no for an answer: “I just went in and learned my way around the gym, and I found out what works for me.” She came out of it as a qualified personal trainer.
Adams’ first Wings for Life World Run was on the spur of the moment, in Santa Clarita, California. Blown away by the exhilarating vibe, she shocked even herself by rolling more than eight miles (about 13km). This time, she’ll be participating in Sunrise, Florida.
“It is always a joy supporting the spinal cord injury community and bringing people together for a great cause that serves humanity,” she said. “Participation in this race gives those with spinal cord injuries and their friends and families hope for an easier tomorrow!”
There’s still time sign up yourself – register for an App Run or Event Run now HERE.