In 2001, Adelaide woman Kirsty Martinsen was living the dream in New York City.
The up-and-coming artist had won a scholarship and was studying at the New York Studio of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.
But everything changed for the World Trade Center on September 11, with the traumatic event set up with multiple sclerosis just months later.
Now she's told her story in the film Limited Surrender, which premiered on TV last night as part of the SBS Short Film Festival.
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When Ms was found out about the attacks, she said she was going to go downtown to find out what was happening.
"I just felt like my bubble had been burst," she told news.com.au.
"I was like, what we’re in New York City and it's a beautiful day and this war, what's going on?"
Shocked by the "complete chaos" unfolding around her Ms Martinsen began drawing what she saw as a way of processing the horrific event.
"I just remember cars and sirens and people yelling and people walking past me covered in gray ash, with just tears running down their face," she recalled.
Ms Martinsen also began experiencing worrying symptoms of headaches, falls and lost vision in one eye.
Ms Martinsen relied on support herself while studying dried up.
Just months later in April 2002, she was diagnosed with MS. Looking back, Ms Martinsen believes the events of 9/11 "absolutely" contributed to her condition.
"The air around New York was very toxic," she said. "I had no idea about the toxicity levels, what was coming from the building.
"I think the stress of the time, I lost my job because I was not going out." That caused a huge amount of stress and financial problems just impacted on everything. "
Ms Martinsen stayed in New York for two more years until she was forced to Adelaide "because Australia has Medicare".
The first few years were difficult to find. She started creating altogether until she enrolled in an art production TAFE class and her teacher encouraged to try something new.
Ms. Martinsen now paints using her wheelchair with the NDIS.
"Just being has lifted any feelings of depression, just being able to see different possibilities has shifted my thinking and I'm so excited about work I'm doing now, I feel like it's the best work I've ever done , "She said.
Attraverso Limited Surrender and sharing her story, Ms Martinsen wants others with MS to know that "everything expands when you become disabled".
"I told you what you can do until you can't do it anymore but I want to extend it," she said.
"There are always possibilities that you don" t know about, constantly keep reaching and thinking beyond what is available to you right now. "
You can watch Limited Surrender on SBS On Demand now. The SBS Short Film Festival runs until Sunday