The Butterfly Effect

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Beautiful RoxyOne tiny little movement, practically imperceptible to the human eye, so slight you would hardly feel it and yet so powerful you would never believe what it is capable of accomplishing. One day it was shy and unsure of itself, the next day it was beautiful, liberated and secretly powerful. That’s kind of what the “Butterfly Effect” is like.When you meet her you would never guess how she ended up there, arriving at a place where few would have chosen; yet it is here that she is planted and making a difference. Roxy has a smile that is disarming and a demeanour that is gentle and inviting. Always open and non-judgmental, she immediately puts people at ease. You would never have guessed at where she has come from or what brought her to that place, because you would only see the outcome today.A freak accident changed it all. Diagnosed with epilepsy at a young age, Roxy was always careful of her surroundings, as epilepsy is no respecter of time, location or dignity. But she never considered it would happen like this. She was 15 and their family had just moved into their new home, and she was about to take a Roxy and the girlsbath. As she stepped into the tub, a grand mal seizure hit. But as it came on, Roxy’s limbs hit the hot water tap that had not yet been adjusted for temperature safety. As the seizure took over, Roxy unknowingly slid deeper into scalding water, and as it dragged on, so did the irreversible damage to nearly half of her body. As she emerged from the seizure, pain engulfed her. Within moments she found herself hospitalized, a victim of third degree burns. As the days wore on and the healing process seemed to never come, depression began to set in. Life would never be the same and she would always live with the emotional pain of shame at her appearance, feeling as if no one would ever see past it. Finally, one day, unable to deal with it anymore, Roxy’s mom confronted her with a choice: to allow her pain to determine her future or to embrace what her life can become. Somehow, she chose life and she chose to live past where circumstance had left her. That was when the butterfly effect began. No one else may have noticed it at first, but the change had been started nonetheless.The term “Butterfly Effect” refers to the small change that can happen in the atmosphere that can ultimately determine weather patterns or prevent them. Something as small as the wings on a butterfly can be enough to cause a chain of events with huge consequences. That day in that hospital, Roxy’s life experienced the butterfly effect: by making one choice to see past her circumstance, she began a chain of events that has led to countless lives being touched and changed by hope and inspiration. After finishing high school, Roxy joined LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute)’s leadership development program and never looked back. She began to share her story with youth across Canada and began to envision what life can look like beyond pain and disappointment. It has been a long, unpredictable road, but it has always been worth it. Along with her husband, Brett, she is currently helping to give leadership at our School of Leadership base in Mexico. Here she gives direction, mentorship and encouragement to our students and to the numerous students that join us in Mexico for Hero Holiday.Roxy’s life is the reflection of hope that we are about in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute). And like any large movement that can change life as we know it, it started with one tiny choice, one simple flutter of a butterfly’s wings.Teachers Rocking OutYou can bring LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) to your local high school! Our Think Day presentation is currently touring across Canada and we want to partner with schools to bring this message of hope and let students know that change is possible. To find out more about what Think Day is about, our School of Leadership, or how to get involved in what we do, check out

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: March 7th, 2010