Paralyzed Woman Leaps Latest Hurdle

Paralysis, power chair and respirator don't stop Sara Granda

The California state bar association has a new member.

Sara Granda received word over the weekend that she passed the bar exam. But Granda, who already has three college degrees, isn't just any student who worked hard to earn the prestigious title of attorney.

She participated in classes, turned in assignments and took each exam without the use of her hands or legs. She can't even breathe without a machine.

It's been a long fight for Granda, who broke her neck in a car crash in 1997 when she was 17. Since then Granda has been fighting to stay alive.

The odds are stacked against someone with that type of injury. If they survive the first crucial weeks, patients can face constant health battles. Breathing with a respirator comes with a whole set of issues. Sitting in the same position with no sensation and no way of moving on your own can be a cause of skin breakdown that can turn into a fatal infection.

But Granda didn't let any of those medical worries stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer. There was one thing, however, that threatened her dreams: A paperwork error.

Granda had to fight the system for the right to take the bar because she missed the registration deadline. The state paid her $600 registration fee by check instead of her paying online with a credit card so she took on the system and won the right to take the test. Otherwise, she would have had to take the test months from now.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rallied on behalf of Granda for the right to take the exam and congratulated her accomplishment, "she is a fighter and today I join Sara, and her family and friends and all Californians as we celebrate her tremendous achievement."

Granda's latest feat is a lesson to everyone who thinks the next step is just too hard to bear. Get over yourself. Just draw upon this amazing woman's diligence the next time you want to put off that trip to the gym, clean up the house or strive for even bigger dreams, like, going to law school.

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