TEDxACU | What Paralysis Taught Me About True Strength

“The hardest thing I ever had to do is nothing at all. When my nose itched, I had to wait for someone to scratch it. But there is power in the fullness of process. Rethink ‘the wait.’”

Author of Twelve Clean PagesTexas Education Agency’s 2007 Texas Secondary Teacher of the YearNika Maples recently gave an incredible TEDx Talk at Abeline Christian University as part of their (re)think speaker series. She walked the audience through living with lupus as a child and her extremely difficult recovery after a massive brain stem stroke, leaving her quadriplegic at the age of 20. Doctors estimated that Nika had 48 hours to live following the stroke and would remain unresponsive in the chance of survival. Her memoir, Twelve Clean Pages, recounts her life with lupus and how it ultimately changed her course. 

Since this definitive season of her life, she has made an astounding recovery and became an advocate for living a meaningful life. She has changed many students' lives as a ten year public school teacher as well as teachers' lives through educational consulting. Nika believes that her purpose is to share her story in order to "encourage others to keep going." Most importantly, she shares her story to serve as a reminder to you that "God never forgets, that He brings beauty out of suffering and disappointment, and that His plans are bigger and better than any we could imagine on our own."

Her important message of hope, resilience and true strength has reached thousands of educators, church members, healthcare workers, students, TEDTalk attendees and many more through her active presence in the speaking world as well as social media. Nika is refreshingly honest, genuine, humorous and is sure to inspire the recepients of her message to live intentionally!


Nika Maples: Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year, author, and stroke survivor

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