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Colleen Haggerty shares her story of loss and transformation

Bellingham resident Colleen Haggerty shares her touching memoir, “A Leg to Stand On: An Amputee’s Walk Into Motherhood,” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, at Village Books, 1200 11th St.

Her story is about loss, anger, redemption, and forgiveness after she lost her leg in a car accident during her senior year of high school. “A Leg To Stand On” is Haggerty’s poignant recounting of a young woman suddenly faced with physical limitations, sacrificing two pregnancies out of fear, and choosing two more later in life while still facing fear.

Those choices informed the seasons of her emotional and physical life. Abortion undid her emotionally, pregnancy undid her physically, and motherhood reconfigured her both ways. The paradox is that while motherhood amplified her disability, it ultimately changed her life for the better.

Haggerty takes us on her journey as she explores her physical world with vigor, testing the limits of her body as well as her heart, pursuing love and passion with restless men. Inevitably, youth and wanderlust would be their undoing, and it would play a role in two of the most difficult choices in her life.

After Colleen lost her leg she found herself feeling marginalized. She developed a deep empathy for, and a desire to help, others living on the fringe of society, which led to her 20-year career in non-profit management.

A writer of memoir and personal essay, she has contributed to four anthologies: “The Spirit of a Woman,” “He Said What? (writing as Colleen Robinson),” “Dancing at the Shame Prom” and “Beyond Belief.”

Haggerty was a speaker at the 2013 Bellingham TEDx event where she talked about the power of forgiveness. She writes about walking through life as an amputee at colleenhaggerty.com.

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