Author/former Notre Dame swimmer to talk about recovery, faith

May 27, 2016

DeMaria will visit Benedictine University on Wednesday, June 15, to speak about her remarkable journey at 7:00 p.m. in the Goodwin Hall Auditorium. Lisle, Illinois ~ “I can’t feel my legs!” Haley Scott DeMaria shouted into the snowy Indiana night. “I can’t feel my legs!”

DeMaria and her Notre Dame teammates were riding back to South Bend, Ind., after a swim meet when their bus skidded on ice, veered off the highway and overturned twice before landing in the snow. Two of DeMaria’s teammates were killed in the crash, and DeMaria was left paralyzed from the waist down.

Or so her doctors believed. DeMaria was determined to overcome her paralysis and make a comeback.

DeMaria will visit Benedictine University on Wednesday, June 15, to speak about her remarkable journey at 7:00 p.m. in the Goodwin Hall Auditorium. She will also sign copies of her memoir, “What Though the Odds,” prior to the event from 6:00-6:45 p.m. Tickets are $10.

DeMaria will share how she found the fortitude to push on during difficult times. She developed a strong faith and converted to Catholicism as a result of her arduous recovery process, and she wants to inspire others to find the strength they need during times of life’s great challenges.

“It is moving, gratifying and inspiring to speak to people about my recovery,” DeMaria said. “It is a gift to pass along hope.”

Some of the themes DeMaria will discuss – never giving up, helping others, and the bonds of friends and family – align with themes that are a priority at Benedictine University. One of the benefits of a values-based education is access to a support system that espouses not just a person’s academic needs, but their spiritual and emotional needs as well.

DeMaria’s presentation is great for all ages. Let her story inspire you. For more information and tickets, please visit ben.edu/speakers.

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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fifth consecutive year in 2015. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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