Tag: women with disabilities
“To now be a part of this representation is really beautiful and overwhelming because I craved it so much when I was little.”
All eyes were on the stunning wedding dresses at New York Bridal Fashion Week, but there was one special moment that stole the show.
University of Houston hosts the nation’s first Women’s World Wheelchair Rugby Invitational Clinic
As Karah Behrend grabbed the rims of her wheelchair and thrusted her arms forward, she hurtled down the rugby court—zigzagging as a blur of bright purple hair through more than two dozen other women on wheels.
One quick look is all it takes to know with 100 percent certainty that Tatyana McFadden is really, really strong. Her arms are rippling with muscles—muscles that have not only propelled her to 17 Paralympics medals and 20 World Championships medals, but multiple first-place finishes in the Chicago, London, Boston, and New York marathons.
For the earliest years of McFadden’s life, those powerful arms—and her hands—were the only way she could walk.
When Debbie Soliz first got injured, she was told motherhood might never happen for her. Now, she dedicates her life to showing other women with spinal cord injuries that anything is possible.
“He learned I couldn’t pick him up,” Debbie Soliz says. “So we fixed it so my son Allan could climb on a chair and climb on my table.” She points to the table attached to her wheelchair, which Allan broke at age 8. “And he would say, ‘mom, this is my place. And I’m not going to stop sitting here until it breaks’.”
Now 64, a social worker in Davis, California for the past 25 years, Debbie is an expert on being a mother with a spinal cord injury, or SCI.
Jesi Stracham used to captivate biotech investors and inadvertently move markets with social media posts documenting her dogged quest to get out of her wheelchair and back onto her feet.
These days, the energetic 24-year-old North Carolina resident goes online to tell a different story. Many of her Facebook and Instagram posts show her competing in off-road vehicle races, an adaptive water skiing competition, and a pageant for women with disabilities.
“I really just want to show people that there is life to be had in the wheelchair,” Stracham said. “There is life to be had with wheels as legs.”
“Life after spinal injury doesn’t have to be any worse, it just has to be different.”
Sometimes you do something just because someone tells you not to.
That was the case for Nathalie McGloin, the only paralyzed female racing driver in the UK.
McGloin suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash when she was a teenager, which has rendered her paralyzed from the chest down.
I am Tamara Mena and I am 30 years old. I’m a host, model, and motivational speaker.
As each of her children grew inside her womb, Joni Vanderwoude felt nothing — not the fluttering first kicks in the beginning, not the bulging of her belly as it stretched to the size of a basketball, not the piercing contractions of labor that usually signal it’s time.
A car accident 16 years ago left Vanderwoude paralyzed from the neck down, unable to walk, cough or even scratch her own nose without someone to do what her own body could not. But Vanderwoude, of DeMotte, Ind., has never dwelled on the limitations of being a person with quadriplegia. Two years after the accident, she married her high school sweetheart. Four years after that they began trying to have children — a medical possibility for most women who suffer from spinal cord injury, despite what people might assume.
Are women with disabilities “vulnerable”? Far from it, says Keran Howe.
She doesn’t like the term, believing it makes the woman she has worked with as an advocate for more than 30 years seem passive, or submissive.
Instead, women with disabilities are targeted, says Howe, by people who use sexual abuse and family violence to control and intimidate them. And when they report their abuse they are often disbelieved.
There are 27 million women with disabilities in the United States according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many of these women will have babies independently and the old fashioned way, via cesarean or natural birth. The number of woman on social media who are pregnant on wheels is like a positive epidemic. These ladies are making love and making babies! Of course, these days, we can share the news, progress, and images every step of the way. This gives hope, inspiration, and courage to those who are following.