She’s a mother of three, an accomplished real estate professional, an athlete, and a small-plane pilot and crash survivor. “I was piloting the family’s Cessna out of the Truckee airport on Labor Day weekend nine years ago when the plane crashed,” Karen Trolan remembers. “In an instant, my life changed. I became a paraplegic.”

Trolan’s journey from the accident to where she is today is truly inspirational. “Every challenge that has been thrown my way has been turned into an opportunity,” she says. “I am constantly surprised not only that I survived, but what I can still do.”

The assistant manager at Alain Pinel Real- tors in Los Gatos remains an avid world traveler and an active sports fan, adapting each activity to accommodate her paralysis. She water skis, goes kayaking and horseback riding with Steve, her husband of 35 years, rides 4-wheelers, snorkels, is an award-winning martial arts expert, coaches soccer, and gives back to her community in many ways.

Trolan’s recent book, I Can Still Do It, is about overcoming the impossible through faith and endurance. “As the book took shape,” she recalls, “I realized that we all have difficulties in our lives. It is how we respond and deal with the situations that shows our character plus makes us better, stronger people.”

True to form, Trolan celebrated her May birthday this year by driving to SkyDance Skydiving in Davis, where she took her first freefall.

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