Meet our 4th Model ! She has a powerful story of defying all odds! She transforms her audience and inspires them to believe that the toughest challenges can be overcome! We are honored to have Author, Speaker and Shooting Survivor, Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson walk our runway for our Zaftan Fashion Show on 17 April 2020 at the Chatham Station in Cary, NC. Read on and come meet her in-person at our Fashion event! Get your tickets now at Zaftan.com! (1) Tell us about your current profession and what your work involves I currently stay home and raise our three beautiful daughters and one busy boy. I do my best to keep up with three school schedules, soccer, field hockey, swim team and ice hockey for the kids. I recently published a book, Over My Shoulder, a memoir about my life experiences growing up, seasons of feeling suicidal as a teenager, surviving the Columbine High School Shooting in 1999, and navigating and reclaiming life since then. I also travel to speak, telling my story, sharing hope and resilience and overcoming. I am passionate about giving my story to others for a few reasons. I believe that when we give our stories, purpose is found in what we’ve experienced. Helping others has always been part of my nature, so when people find hope in their own stories because of my vulnerability, I feel like maybe a difference is being made; beauty rising from ashes. (2) Share about how you contribute to the community or about any volunteer service or interests that you have I currently serve on the Board of Directors for a non-profit group in Denver- the Limb Preservation Foundation. This group serves patients who are at risk of losing limbs because of infection, trauma or cancer. As a board member, I have had the privilege of launching the Patient Care Program. This program enables previous survivors of limb-threatening conditions to give back by visiting patients who are currently undergoing treatments. I love giving back to others by entering into their story, walking alongside them through the ups and downs of the journey. Serving on this board means a lot to me because I was fortunate to find doctors who pioneered a new, custom plan when I almost lost my arm at seventeen because of my devastating injuries at Columbine. I also spend time mentoring survivors of mass shootings. There were not many people available to me after Columbine who could relate to things I witnessed, smelled, heard, or felt. I find it an honor to be available as a person who ‘knows’, while listening to the stories of other survivors. I wish my experiences upon nobody, but if offering a listening ear and the details of my journey will help encourage healing and hope, I am happy to share. I am passionate about spreading awareness of the life-changing and sometimes life-saving impacts of tissue donation. It seems a lot of people know about how organ donation can save a life. However, when I tell the story about how a donor provided the cadaver bones (allografts) needed to save my arm, people are surprised; they have never heard of bone or tissue donation. My donor and her family touched my life forever when her gifts of bone kept me from being a seventeen-year-old amputee, giving me two arms to wrap around our four children. If that isn’t LIFE, I don’t know what is 😊 (3) Your passion – What is your “Why?” Why do you get out of bed each morning? I believe I have been given a second chance at life, and I do not want to waste it. Although my life has been filled with many difficult struggles, the good far outweighs the bad. I am living out God’s story in my life. My joy comes from watching our four children grow, laugh, and learn how to love others. In our home, we call our hearts ‘love buckets’. I hope that with each day I’m given to raise these kids, I am able to be an example of how to live as a ‘bucket-filler’. My hope is that every day my kids leave the house, their love-buckets are so full that the overflow is what spills onto others around them.