Gina's People: A Model Of Inspiration

Tamara Mena was just starting her modeling career when a horrible car accident claimed the life of her boyfriend and left her paralyzed. She remembers waking up in the hospital in excruciating pain and feeling devastated. It was her aunt who said, "Remember that you're not a victim. You're a survivor." Mena let that sink in. Her beloved boyfriend was gone. Yet, she was still alive. "The only thing that gave me some peace in the midst of it all, was believing that there was a reason this was happening or that God would be taking care of me. So, I just held on to my faith," says Mena.

Thanks to her faith and incredible spirit, Mena has not given up on her passion. She continues to model in a wheelchair. She's been in magazines and worked the fashion runway in New York.

She says, "Somebody can say, life is unfair. Poor girl, look what happened to her. It doesn't really matter if it's fair or unfair, you go forward." She certainly has. Mena is not only modeling, she is also the ambassador of Wings For Life World Run, an international organization that raises money for spinal chord injury research. The next race takes place on May 3rd, 2015. In So Cal, the race will take place in Santa Clarita. Mena will be taking part in the race and she's hoping you will join her as well. She says, "I think it's important to keep in mind, they are running for millions around the world who are living with paralysis who have a spinal chord injuries." All of the proceeds from the race registration, that's 100%, goes directly to the Wings for Life Foundation in support of spinal chord research.

Tamara hopes to serve as a reminder that no matter what your circumstance, giving up is never the solution. She says, "The easiest thing is to say, I'm not strong. I'm not strong like that...that's a cop-out to me. You can be strong!"

If you want to sign up for the race, go to this website: