Akron graduate writes book about experiences

By Victoria Teresko

Victoria Teresko

What do you get when you combine a life changing moment and a positive attitude? The answer is the topic for a book by Barb Frye, recent graduate from the master’s program of clinical counseling at UA. Frye’s first book, Stop Wishing Start Living, a story about her life, was recently published.

In 1984, when Frye was 18, she was in a car accident. She was at a party and a friend wanted to take her for a drive in her new car. Frye did not realize that the dangers of drinking and driving could affect her. An oncoming car resulted in her friend swerving into a ditch.

From that moment on, Frye’s life was forever changed. The accident left Frye with a broken neck that left her paralyzed from the shoulders down.

“In one second, life changes,” Frye said. “I didn’t realize how precious a body is and how I took it for granted.”

Frye’s mother and father were unbelievably supportive, according to Frye. Her mom, who was a nurse, took care of Frye after the accident. Eventually, her parents made her go back to college at Kent State University.

“The best thing my parents did was to force me to go back (to college). It forced me to learn independence and it forced me to be comfortable with my body,” Frye said.

Through going back to school, Frye learned how to hire her own caregiver. She also learned about the resources offered to students with disabilities. One of the services she took advantage of was the Disabled Students Services Transportation. This is where she met
her future husband, Donald Frye.

They dated for six and a half years before they got married. According to Frye, Donald is quick witted and has a sense of humor. They have a son together, Max, who is 14 years old.

“Being a mother is my greatest accomplishment,” Frye said.

Upon graduating from Kent, Frye has been employed by many companies. Her resume ranges from working as a standup comedian (only sit-down, according to her), to a funeral home, to helping with DUI classes. She also is a motivational speaker.

“People are more willing to help than what people really think,” Frye Said.

To learn more about Frye’s story, you can pick up a copy of her book, Stop Wishing Start Living, at barbfrye.com, or at the Buehler’s on River Styx Road. The book will be available soon in Barnes and Noble.