Jana Castillo was a 25-year-old professional dancer, in her prime, working in an industry she loved.
And then, in her own words, she "completely lost all control" of her body.
She didn't think she would walk again - let alone get back on the dance floor. "I couldn't walk or talk properly so I had completely given away the idea that I would be able to dance again," she told The Border Mail.
"I was ready to walk away from my dreams." Jana was diagnosed with dystonia - a functional movement disorder which causes the muscles in the body to involuntarily move.
"They are like ticks," she said. "At first I didn't want to talk about it out of fear I wouldn't get work.
"I think people are of the impression everyone is accepting of disabilities and quite open about it.
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"But that isn't entirely true, I have definitely been discriminated against and most of the time it is before they have even spoken to me.
"They just don't give me a job because they think I can't do it." When Jana first started getting symptoms she came back home to Wodonga to "rest and investigate more".
"But the movement disorder never left and I have had to learn, through trial and error, what does and what doesn't work for me.
"It can be completely disabling and it is only through management that I can get through. It is still a trial and error process but I think that there is something about being from the country, that perseverance and getting on with it that shaped who I am."
Jana admits even from an early age the "odds were stacked against" her. "I had many teachers who said there will be heaps more people in the city and not to get your hopes up when I said I wanted to become a professional dancer," she said.
"They said I wouldn't make it - I proved them wrong."
Jana is sharing her story today on International Day of People with a Disability and hopes other young people read her story and see that "you can reach your dreams".
"Luckily enough, after becoming more open about my disorder, I have been able to continue to get work and do what I love in an industry I love," she said.
Jana's story is also available in a three-part SBS On Demand documentary Perspective Shift which features three people who have excelled in their fields who also happen to have a disability.