TAMPA (FOX 13) - A near-death event led a former military lieutenant colonel to change her life and focus on helping others.
"I look for people who can't find help through other sources in our greater Tampa Bay community." Karen said.
Karen served in the Air Force for 20 years, when she was hit by a drunk driver going over 100 mph in 2007. Her skull was cracked in two places.
"It was very painful to survive that collision on many different levels," she said. "Out of pain comes our passion and we find our purpose."
Her purpose for the last eight years has been a grassroots organization called "Fulfill Your Destiny." They award $1,000 grants to people who are going through a crisis.
"I look for people who have survived -- whether it be a job layoff and then became an entrepreneur, or an injury or some sort or illness." Karen said.
Rachel Revill owns Perfect Timing Concierge and was helped by Karen while going through a rough time after cancer.
"To some people maybe a $1,000 isn't much of anything. To me, that $1,000 was a lifesaver," Rachel said.
Karen, now a motivational speaker, also has written a book called Plaintiff 101 to help raise money for her charity. She is also working on other programs to help people out in the Bay Area.
In all, she’s helped change hundreds of lives.
"By choosing to be better and not bitter I'm able to reach an inspire a lot of people," she added.
LINK: For more information: www.fulfillyourdestiny.org