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Rachel Pritchard's Story by Chuck Mahla

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Rachel Pritchard's Story by Chuck MahlaMeet Rachel Pritchard, a beautiful 22-year-old student at Towson University. Rachel is a double major in Law and Spanish with a minor in international studies and she hopes to one day join the military, finish law school and become a jag officer or an immigration lawyer. When Rachel isn’t hitting the books, you can find her cheering for Towson as a member of their cheer squad that have not lost a competition since she joined two semesters ago. Though she is athletic, she was never a competitive cheerleader before she got to Towson, but her dedication to the team has been a huge boost in helping to win so many competitions. As if being an NCAA cheerleader was not enough for Rachel, she also works two jobs! She bartends on the weekends and works for an indoor raceway company during the week. If you ask her what her favorite thing to do is, Rachel would answer with riding her 2014 Kawasaki Ninja (featured in the pictures) as she is very enthusiastic about bikes and cars.

 

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At this point, many of you reading this article are probably thinking this is another typical article featuring a pretty girl and her bike/car. What you don’t know is that Rachel finished high school early due to an unfortunate situation which resulted in her taking her junior and senior year combined so she could she could attend school and graduate with her friends. Here is something else you do not know: Four years ago today, August 4th, Rachel’s life took a turn for the worst. It was around 9pm when Rachel was walking to her car, leaving a friend’s birthday party, when a car struck her at almost 40mph. She was rushed to Bayview in critical condition, fighting for her life.

Rachel Pritchard's story by Chuck Mahla

Upon arriving at the ICU, she was immediately taken into surgery due to the brain injuries she suffered. She also had numerous respiratory issues, and broke her femur in three places. A rod was placed in her heel and three screws in her knee. After three long weeks of being in a medical induced coma, the time came to wake her.

Rachel Pritchard's story by Chuck Mahla

As doctors expected, Rachel had memory loss. In fact, she didn’t know what year it was, where she lived, or even who some of her friends were in the room. She would then spend another month in the hospital, being fed from tubes and recovering from injuries. She didn’t return home until halfway through October, but even then she had a long way to go, especially with all the physical and cognitive therapy sessions.

Rachel Pritchard's Motorcycle


After shooting with Rachel, I was able to sit down with her and listen to her stories from start to finish. We talked about her favorite things to do, her passion for cars and bikes. We discussed her childhood, growing up, her friends, school and then finally, her accident. She is doing much better today but still has her scars and a few memory issues here and there. I asked her if she could leave the readers with one thing, what would it be? She replied, “What doesn’t kill you, truly makes you stronger. Always look forward and remember that there is always someone else who has it worse than you.”

Be sure to follow Rachel on IG: @RaeRae_Lauren

Be sure to follow Chuck Mahla on IG: @ChuckMahla

Rachel Pritchard's story by Chuck Mahla

View the full gallery here

Rachel Pritchard's story by Chuck Mahla

View the full gallery here

Rachel Pritchard's story by Chuck Mahla

View the full gallery here

Rachel Pritchard's Motorcycle

Check out our most recent feature with Bex Russ and her Motorcycle by clicking the photo below:

Bex Russ for ShockerRacingGirls with her Honda CBR

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