Some some said she’d never have a family, a career or a full life. Lorraine Woodward said “Watch me!”

At the age of 2, Lorraine Woodward was diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), and doctors told her parents that she would not live past 16 years old. Now, at age 54, she has more than outlived those early predictions and made a successful life as a wife, mother, volunteer and entrepreneur.

From an early age Lorraine lived an active and unlimited life, choosing to view her diagnosis with a “can-do” attitude. She credits this for helping her succeed in achieving goals and dreams as an independent woman. Even though having LGMD made some activities more difficult, she knew she could do them, just in a more “creative” way.

MDA has been a part of Lorraine’s life since she was first diagnosed at the age of 2. She has attended clinics, received words of wisdom and hope for her future, and has now watched her sons grow and flourish at MDA Summer Camp. Growing up, Lorraine and her family traveled frequently, which meant attending clinics in California, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia. She credits MDA for always being there for her and her family, no matter where they lived. Lorraine considers MDA a part of her family. Lorraine also recognizes MDA for helping her realize her passion of advocating for those with disabilities. She never let her muscular dystrophy diagnosis take away her ability to make an impact in the world.

Along the way, she got married and became a mother of two sons. She has also started three businesses: a full-service communications firm, Woodward Communications; Realistic Reflections, one of the largest stock photography houses representing people with disabilities; and Lorraine’s Canes, a company that makes hand-painted wooden canes for kids and adults with disabilities.

Lorraine has even started her own fully functioning all-accessible beach house, “Lorraine’s Hakuna Matata.” This beach house is fully equipped with a hospital bed, power for oxygen, a wet room, accessible kitchen sink and more, so that no matter what physical abilities people have, they have a vacation home where they can live unlimited.

Lorraine has lived unlimited throughout her entire life, not letting any barriers hold back her dreams. She believes that having a “can-do” attitude is easier than having a “can’t do” perspective. When you believe you can’t do something, that’s a hard way to live, she says, but believing you can do something is exciting.

Lorraine’s live unlimited moment came when she retired and realized she was living a complete personal and professional life. She defied the limits when people said she wouldn’t have a family, career or full life. She will continue to pursue her dreams and live an unlimited life to impact others with her passion for service and advocacy. Lorraine reminds us that by having a “can-do” attitude, you can truly live unlimited.

Read more about Lorraine in the News & Observer (Raleigh, N. C.): Raleigh woman with muscular dystrophy: ‘There are no limits to what you can do’, July 29, 2016.