To so many of us, the ability to indulge our passions is something we take for granted. But for Monica, 65, returning to the ocean to scuba dive seemed nearly impossible. At the young age of 50, Monica suffered a stroke that left the entire left side of her body paralyzed leaving her unable to live the active lifestyle she was accustomed to. Prior to her stroke, Monica ran 34 marathons, was a triathlete, and worked as a fitness trainer as well as loving horseback riding, biking, swimming, and yoga.
Monica has always put others needs in front of her own. She raised her children as philanthropists and her son just finished his tour in Afghanistan. He is now a older adult officer in the Air Force. Monica also became a foster mom at age 20, has had multiple foster children, and is the grandmother to their kids. She is constantly trying to help and support others and now serves on our Ambassadors team as well as AL Resident Council.
After her stroke, Monica was told she would never be able to dive again, but Monica remained determined. She constantly tests her limitations and challenges what her doctors say. She wants to feel alive again, and for Monica, this means getting back in the water. She says it’s where she “comes alive.” Monica’s wish of a lifetime was to have the chance to go scuba diving again.
Thanks to Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale, Monica’s wish came true on September 20, 2015. She returned to the ocean on a crystal clear day and was able to dive in a reef off the shore of the Keys. It was a perfect day and a perfect dive.