Ms Wheelchair Tennessee 2013 Platform

Each one of you in this room today has something you struggle with. Simply stated, each one of us has a disability. What separates us is how we chose to deal with our disability.

Even though I lead my life from a wheelchair, I don’t feel as though my day-to-day activities are different from anyone else’s. I have Muscular Dystrophy and I, in no way, let that stop me from leading my life.

After my diagnosis at age 17, I was told my muscles were going to slowly deteriorate to the point I would no longer be able to walk. In the blink of an eye, my future seemed so uncertain to me. I began to wonder if all my hopes and dreams would come true. As scary as all this was, I soon realized that life is about more than the steps you take. All of my hopes and dreams were still going to come true, as long as I was willing to adapt. Two of my current dreams are to be a role model to those with disabilities and to promote the accomplishments of others in wheelchairs.

I want to be a positive role model for those who struggle with a disability. I plan to use every media outlet available to encourage individuals of all ages to embrace their differences. I will share my story, which comes with many struggles and also an abundance of success. I want to take advantage of social media, Facebook and Twitter will allow me to reach numerous individuals. I hope to show children and young adults that having a disability is not a reason to stop living your life or dreaming big. Most of the time, the only person stopping you from making your dreams a reality is you.

To promote the accomplishments of others in wheelchairs, I will need to call upon the disability community and their family and friends to nominate successful individuals. I plan to spotlight a different nominee each month that has a positive attitude, successfully focuses on their abilities, and does amazing things from a wheelchair. I feel it is very important to recognize the accomplishments of these individuals, as they are amazing role models for our youth.

If crowned Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee, I would like to use my voice to be a positive role model for those struggling with a disability and to shine a light on the amazing accomplishments of individuals in wheelchairs. With a little help from a crown and a sash, I can show Tennesseans that life is about more than the steps you take.

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