Roxana Dobrica wanted to start a new life in Italy nine years ago. But a car accident cost her seven years until she started to live her life again independently. Her new life also includes handbiking. Which dream of her former life she still remembers, why it is important to laugh and why she would never switch lives with someone else, she tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Roxana Dobrica Age: 33 City: Brescia/Italy Occupation: Athlete Impairment: Paraplegic due to a car accident in 2009
Roxana Dobrica: A good joke, a comedy movie, humorous shows, but most of all I like to have those meetings with friends which never get boring. I like to laugh. It gives me a good feeling and that's why I try to use every opportunity that makes me laugh.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Roxana Dobrica: I don't remember what it was before the accident that put me in the wheelchair. At that time I certainly had other ideas for my life, what I expected from it and what it should have to offer me. I know that ever since, I've wanted to walk along the beach with my bare feet in the warm sand in the morning, smell the smell of the ocean and hear the waves. It will never be possible. But I try to rebuild myself through other things I can fight for.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Roxana Dobrica: It's not just one person that's influenced me, it's many. Over the years I have met many strong people who have been able to motivate me and I have always tried to learn something from them. Every person has a story and every story is a lesson.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Roxana Dobrica: I would pay more attention to the needs of people with disabilities. When using a wheelchair you often encounter difficulties. I am from a city in Romania where architectural barriers are everywhere. Fortunately I live in northern Italy. Brescia is highly accessible for wheelchair users. So in one word: accessibility! I would work to make cities more accessible. Not only for people with disabilities, but also for the elderly, for parents with prams, for everyone...
Handbiking has become very important to her and even lead her to the USA. With her team Equa she prepares for an important cycling season. Her biggest goals are to step on the podium of para-cycling World Championships and to be part of the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Roxana Dobrica: Whoever answers this question probably says: the family. They must be the ones who are dearest to you, followed by friends, those people you've known and left behind, and the rest of the world.
I would like to be...
Roxana Dobrica: ...me. Being as I am, with my feelings and with my dreams. I would not want to be another person, why would I do it? Maybe someone else would like to be in my shoes, but I wouldn't want to switch with him or her. I have many desires and I always look for challenges that are difficult to achieve, yes. But I don't want to be anyone else.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Roxana Dobrica: Why should money be a priority?
What I finally want to say...
Roxana Dobrica: No matter what happens, you do not have to give up your dreams. Maybe situations change, maybe your life changes, but if you really want something, you can have that. I lost seven years of my life waiting for a miracle just because I did not accept my disability. My life seemed lost until I resuscitated it. I was waiting to get up from the chair to start living, but I realized that I could live nicely while rolling, not just walking. So I said YES to life and started to dream and live. Because you cannot live nicely if you do not dream nicely!