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Meet the Quadriplegic Single Mom Who Is Beginning to Walk Again

Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


Tanisha Harris Needs the Community’s Help to Keep Moving

ATLANTA, Ga.—Tanisha Harris knows what it’s like to defy the odds, and not just because she’s a young, single mother of two. Since a devastating car accident, the 29-year-old has been living with quadriplegia—and she has defied her prognosis in every way possible, relentlessly (and successfully) pursuing mobility through physical therapy. Tanisha plans to not just walk unassisted but climb mountains again, but she cannot take the next step in her life—literally—without immediate help from the Atlanta community.

On August 25, 2015, Tanisha was rear-ended in a catastrophic hit-and-run accident. She was diagnosed with a C5-C7 spinal cord injury with movement issues from the neck down. Doctors typically associate quadriplegia with partial or complete inability to move or feel below the area of injury—the chances of ever walking again are typically considered slim or nonexistent.

Astonishingly, Tanisha has proved her doctors wrong. Within 18 months of her accident, thanks to her devotion to physical therapy with NextStep Atlanta (video here), Tanisha was walking with prosthetic leg braces instead of a wheelchair. She continues to exceed every expectation for someone living with quadriplegia (second video here), from regaining mobility in her legs to being able to feel and use her arms and hands again, an equally massive feat for someone with quadriplegia.

Today, she is asking for her community’s help so that her journey doesn’t end here. She needs support to cover the enormous out-of-pocket cost of the physical therapy sessions that continue to transform her life—costs that her insurance refuses to cover. Tanisha is fundraising with the national nonprofit Help Hope Live at

Remarkably, instead of viewing her circumstances with anger or sadness, Tanisha says the accident altered her entire perspective on life: “The accident is a blessing in disguise that changes me for the better. I appreciate the littlest things—through prayer, patience, faith, perseverance, and a positive mindset, I’ve been able to beat the odds of my injury level.”

Tanisha remains an active and committed part of her children’s lives—8-year-old Nai’lah and 13-year-old Khalei. Together, they attend church and cheer for the Atlanta Hawks. Tanisha cheers on her kids when they play in the Atlanta Hawks Junior League—she even dribbles and shoots from her wheelchair. The roles change at Tanisha’s physical therapy sessions, where her kids cheer on their mother as she makes incredible progress.

Community members can make a donation in honor of Tanisha at any time at or by calling Help Hope Live at 800.642.8399. Those unable to donate can leave an encouraging message on her Campaign Page Guestbook or call Help Hope Live to ask how to plan a fundraiser to help. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all donations will offset medical and related expenses via Help Hope Live’s Southeast Catastrophic Injury Fund.

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $135 million to pay patient expenses.


Written by Emily Progin