Maja was treated in a local makeshift basement hospital that lacked medical supplies and antibiotics. Her left leg became infected and over the next couple of months flesh was cut from her leg until she eventually underwent an amputation – all without the benefit of anesthesia.
Kazazic lay close to death when she was selected to be one of three children evacuated for treatment. She left her home and her family with only a teddy bear, a t-shirt and a rock. As people in Maja's new hometown of Cumberland, Maryland learned of her story, the community volunteered their time, money, and effort to make her whole again.
Maja was determined to succeed; she had the will to overcome any obstacle. Despite the challenges presented to her as a below-the-knee amputee, she was able to build a new life beyond anyone’s expectations. She learned how to walk again, finished high school and college, and eventually started a very successful software company whose clients included Fortune 100 companies. She has since learned to windsurf, play tennis and golf, and even run. She completed her first 5K in 2009.
As a result of the tragedy she endured, Maja was left with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which left her living through constant panic attacks and night terrors, rendering her unable to function at times. On the recommendation of her clinician, Maja adopted Rosie, an amputee Great Dane, and they have been an inseparable pair ever since. With Rosie’s help, Kazazic's PTSD symptoms have abated.
Kazazic and Rosie have given hope and inspiration to countless people with limb loss and those struggling with the adjustment and depression. Kazazic has been featured in Reader's Digest, Good Houskeeping, Woman’s World, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CTV, BBC News, and on the Discovery Health Network.
A Mile In My Shoes: The Power Of Empathy
In this keynote address Maja helps attendees harness the power of empathy to teach corporations how to cultivate and build positive and healthy work environments that thrive on teamwork— how to become better leaders, create, and foster healthy, meaningful relationships with coworkers, employees, and customers. The tools learned during this keynote are easily applicable to personal relationships.
Perhaps your organization has faced or is facing a hard quarter or a tough year. Maybe you are facing major changes and obstacles right now. If that’s the case, then this keynote is for you. Maja paints a hopeful and bright future during her speech as she teaches attendees how to face loss and turn it into powerful lessons for growth. Learn how to face hard times directly and go through them like a champion. Learn how to use difficult situations and obstacles to empower you and your team to catapult to the next level. Your attendees will leave inspired, full of hope, and ready to tackle even the hardest challenges head on.
Diversity in Action
It’s not enough to just speak about diversity in corporate culture — we must put it into action! To do so, we must build and nurture a diverse workplace culture to improve employee experience and productivity. This keynote focuses on cultural competence and diversity initiatives that will teach how to better understand and appreciate a multitude of perspectives. Maja is a disabled, woman, muslim, gay, immigrant who faced her fair share of diversity exclusion. Maja’s lessons help leaders become more aware of how to best interact with different cultural groups, raise awareness and communication, as well as cultivate an increased sense of community.
Focusing solely on inspiring and motivating, Maja’s keynote will take your attendees on a powerful and emotional ride. Maja shares her personal journey of overcoming unthinkable obstacles and odds with the power of empathy while never losing hope. Sometimes this may include her amputee Great Dane service dog, Rosie - which makes the experience completely unique and unforgettable. This keynote can be adjusted to a lighter version more suitable for lighter events.
- Finding Purpose in Chaos and Uncertainty
Maja’s Keynote addresses the questions we all have during these challenging times: How should we be feeling? What should we be doing? Where do we go next? Maja offers her insights on how to make sense of the chaos, live a purpose-driven life, and lead purpose-driven organizations and teams in the midst of an ever changing workscape.
- From Genocide to Pandemic: Parallels, Lessons, and Our Future
This Keynote addresses Maja's time in the Bosnian genocide and draws parallels between the two eerily similar scenarios. While offering lessons from the genocide that helped her community survive and thrive.
- Turn Obstacles into Advantages
Maja was ecstatic when she got her first prosthetic leg, but she was shocked to realize that she forgot how to walk. So she had to re-learn first with a walker, then crutches, then cane. No matter what we do in life or in business we will face obstacles and failures, but the key is to get up, learn from our experiences, improve each time and implement our knowledge to reach any goal!
- Change = Growth
Maja's childhood dream was to become a professional athlete - that all changed when she lost her leg. Instead of fighting it, Maja embraced the change. This inevitable change led to Maja motivating and inspiring people around the globe. It is only when we embrace the change do we experience growth and reach heights that often change the world.
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