When Laura LaPorta was 11-years-old she shattered her C5 vertebrae in a diving accident and became paralyzed. Seventeen years later, LaPorta's determination to lose weight has inspired her to take new steps.
Doctors initially told LaPorta she was quadriplegic, something she couldn't quite grasp.
“At 11 years old, you cannot understand what a spinal cord injury really entails,” the 28-year-old high school guidance counselor from Bergenfield, New Jersey, told "Today."
While she worked hard to live independently, she gained weight from being confined to a wheelchair and relying on fast food. At her heaviest, the 5-foot-6-inch woman weighed 240 pounds and that gain made her realize she had to again walk.
LaPorta began training last August and progressed from small tasks, like toe tapping, to eventually being able to walk on a treadmill. What's more, LaPorta has lost 40 pounds.