My name is Annabel Ruffell and I am the founder of Journey for Earth, a global awareness company committed to inspiring change for humanity, the environment and animals, one choice at a time.
My interview today is with the inspirational Heidi Cave. In 1998 Heidi was an active young woman looking forward to all the possibilities life had to offer. That all changed when her car was struck by a reckless driver going more than 100km/hr (60 mph). The car crash resulted in a battle for her life that would involve two weeks in a coma, seven months in the BCPFF Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit at Vancouver General Hospital and an additional five months in rehabilitation. What should have been the darkest chapter of her life became a bright testament to the strength of the human spirit.
She has written a book about her experience called Fancy Feet. The following link will take you to Heidi’s book page where you can read the first 3 chapters and buy it if you would like to: http://heidicave.com/buy-the-book/
1) What Journey are You on?
Right now I’m on the journey of my book Fancy Feet: Turning My Tragedy Into Hope that I worked on for 3 years. It is now a real live book and available to the reader! The deeper journey for me is about trying and taking risks, being afraid and doing it anyway.
2) What has been one of your greatest challenges over the years, either with the work that you do or in another area of your life, and how did you overcome it?
Over the last three years I worked on a manuscript about my life that I was determined to turn into a book. I wanted to tell my story of emerging from a 2 week coma to the voice of my boyfriend of just 6 weeks telling me I was in a car crash that led to the death of my best friend, burns to 52% of my body and my right leg amputated below the knee. As I struggled to piece together what remained of my life, multiple surgeries forced me to be a patient at the burn unit for 7 months, my left leg was also amputated and the reckless driver responsible for my situation lied to the police. While so much was beyond my control I was confronted with this question: Will I be a victim or a survivor? I had told this story out loud to many audiences but I had yet to put it in book form.
I attended workshops on how to write your life’s story. I met with a writers’ group where we read what we had written and gave each other feedback. I went to writers’ conferences where I pitched my story to editors and agents. Just over a year ago I signed contracts with an agent and publisher to have my memoir published. Armed with my editor’s notes, I spent months revising the manuscript to make it the best it could be. The greatest challenge was to dig up old, buried emotions and allow them to come to the surface. I couldn’t just state the facts. I had to let the reader in and I’ll admit it was hard to do at times. Hair-pulling, tear-inducing kind of stuff. But ultimately it was good and worth it and Fancy Feet is something I am very proud of.
3) What is your greatest hope for our planet at this time?
I speak to different groups about hope and the impact and power hope has. I often speak on behalf of the burn fund which is an incredible organization that prevents victims and empowers survivors. They help many burn survivors like me. It’s important for us to see beyond our own brokenness so we can see the needs of others. I often ask, “What do you want your story to be?” If we live the life of a survivor rather than a victim we will be able to do more and be more for those around us. My greatest hope for the planet is just that we live from a place of hope. Great things can be accomplished where there is hope.
What Journey are YOU on?