Monica's Story

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Monica Caban, founded the Now You See Me Foundation to give back to the community of San Antonio. Triathlon, according to USA Triathlon Magazine acknowledged the sport to surpass running a Marathon on their "to-do or bucket list" before turning a certain age. The challenge is more difficult for obvious reasons; you are adding two more sports, swimming and cycling. Monica fell in love with the sport and in love with the people that loved the sport as much as she did. Monica is a single mother of two teen-age children, Katalina Marie and Ethan Edward. She completed her first IronMan in 2011 in Panama City, Fl. in 14:02.

In October, 2012, Monica was four weeks out from competing in her second IronMan, in Tempe, Arizona, when she and a fellow cyclist were heading South bound on the frontage road of IH-10 from Boerne back to San Antonio when she was struck by a 82 year-old distracted motorist, driving 55mph, catapulting her 30 ft. in the air, landing on her back. As a result, Monica suffered a spinal cord injury and was told she would never walk again. Monica's rapid and many say miraculous recovery attribute that to her physical condition at the time of the accident, her attitude and unwillingness to accept a diagnosis that she would never walk again.

In October, Monica had a Spinal Cord Pain STIM placed in her spinal cord to help with the pain she was left to deal with. Shortly, she discovered the stimulator was acting more as a "stimulator" and accelerating her nerves, the nerves her doctors said would probably not come back and had she accepted that, not tried, given up, today we might know Monica confined to a chair. Most would have accepted the diagnosis; eventually their legs atrophied, unable to lift themselves up, resulting to a new way of life for some. So rather than taking care of the pain, she felt her Pain STIM was exciting her nerves and waking them up. Her background in physical fitness, her training and understanding of how the body works, recovers and operates, she felt hopeful for once.

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As if one accident wasn't enough and life altering; Monica endured another setback at her gym in January 2014. After a swim lesson she would have her coach, Todd Erikson meet her to aid her in the pool. After her lesson, taking a shower, in the "ADA" handicap shower stall with 2" bars bolted into the cement walls for security, collapsed underneath her, resulting her to break her coccyx bone and dislodge her Pain STIM by and inch and a half, which for a newly implanted device in a spinal cord could mean bad news. As a result, within the next few days, Monica experienced a whole new level of pain. The Pain STIM did not have enough time to "set or anchor" itself to where fascia could grow over itself, this usually taking six months or so according to her pain specialist. The implant was too close in proximity in time to the incident; it was obvious the fall caused the Pain STIM to migrate. This was no ordinary incident; she had to seek legal representation. She had to endure yet another lengthy surgery to fix the migrated STIM to replace with a new one. She was told she just had "open-back" surgery and everything she just learned in the last year and a half had to be erased from her memory, meaning everything. She was dumbfounded and for the first time felt, hopeless. At the time of the gym incident, Monica was not walking unassisted. So coming out of surgery and told not to bend, lift or twist out of the bed to get to the bathroom so she may be discharged, was a bit overwhelming to say the least. She was beginning to feel like this was a big joke she thought someone was playing on her. She swears she cannot make her story up if she tried.

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Post-surgery was gruesome for her. She was just getting her momentum back and on the right track when all this occurred with her gym. She now felt her second home was stripped from her, this after first home; the streets were stripped away in 2012. It took longer than normal, by Monica's standards to recuperate after this surgery she admits. This setback made her even stronger she exclaims.

Monica Caban