Everyone has adversities they encounter in their lives but not like all handicap people. It takes a lot of will power and bravery to push forward and do the work that is needed. Most require a lot of strength and a fearless attitude to go far. Handicapped people with disabilities are forced to work harder than most, and their success is sprouted from a place of great power and courage. People require wheelchairs for a variety of factors, and in the end, it does better than harm for them. Along with aiding mobility, a wheelchair helps with the users’ physical health and quality of life by assisting in overcoming pressure sores and progression of deformities while also improving respiration and digestion.
The Most Inspiring and Famous Wheelchair User
From scientists and CEOs to actors and athletes, so many people have overcome and succeeded in their wheelchairs. We’ve listed down some of the most prominent personalities.
● Stephen Hawking
Much more than the namesake of Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, Stephen Hawking is one of the, if not the, most well-known physicists in the world. He was able to achieve all his success and discoveries despite being diagnosed with ALS at the age of 21.
He could only communicate using his computer and had been a full-time powerchair-user following the 1980s. His disability never deterred him from giving up on his desire to study the universe, specifically the workings of general relativity and quantum mechanics. A Brief History of Time, one of his best works, stayed on the Sunday Times bestsellers list for almost 237 weeks.
● Christopher Reeve
The late Christopher Reeve, the man known for playing the Man of Steel Superman, was one of the most famous actors in the 90s. During an equestrian competition in May 1995, Reeve broke his neck that rendered him a person with quadriplegia. The accident resulted in the fracture of his C1-C2 cervical vertebrae and damaged his spinal cord, and left him reliant on a respirator to breathe. After much therapy, Reeve became the public face for spinal cord injury and also an activist for SCI research. He encouraged neuroscientists worldwide to seek out a cure and research new ways to improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. Along with his wife Dana, Reeve founded the Christopher Reeve Foundation that funds research and serves as a supporter for the spinal cord injury community.
● Ralph Braun
Ralph Braun was the creator of Braun Corporation, one of the leading builders of wheelchair accessible vehicles. He was titled “a champion of change” by President Barack Obama. He was a person who reveled in bringing the freedom of mobility to handicapped people.
Ralph had muscular dystrophy when he was born and started his career in 1966, where he created the first hand-controlled wheelchair-accessible van. Later in 1991, Ralph’s company, BraunAbility, made the first easily accessible minivan. just like many other handicapped people.
● John Hockenberry
John Hockenberry has a spinal cord injury that left him in a wheelchair. Despite that, he is an American journalist and author, a three-time Peabody Award winner and four-time Emmy Award winner. He worked in Dateline during the 1990s and became one of the first visible journalists to use a wheelchair on an American network. He’s also the writer of the book. Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence, and also has been a radio host of The Takeaway, a live national news program on Public Radio since 2008.
There also have been numerous examples of non-famous people who have inspired and paved ways for fellow wheelchair people.
● Chelsie Hill
One of them includes an aspiring story of a woman in a wheelchair who never gave up on her passions. This young Californian girl had a car accident in her senior year of high school that left her T10 paraplegic. But that did not stop her from following her dreams and continued being the headstrong person she had always been and strived through her apparent limitations.
Chelsie Hill had wanted to dance ever since she was three years old. After the tragic car accident at 17, she was left with an immobile lower body. But that did not deter her.
Along with her father, Hill started a nonprofit Walk and Roll Foundation to inspire other people in the same situation. He helped raise money to provide wheelchairs to those in need.
Chelsie Hill is 25 now and has succeeded in creating one of the world’s most prominent wheelchair dance groups, the Rollettes. The group comprises six women in wheelchairs who love to dance and spread positivity to their community.
● Jerry like all other handicapped people
Jerry is an independent 53-year-old father of four children. He’s independent, has a house, raised a family, and his adult kids still look to him for support. He has had a disability for over 35 years from an accident that left him as a partial paraplegic. But he refused to be defined by his disability and competes and coaches in several sports has even participated in the Boston Marathon.
“There are lots I can do, and there are some things that I can’t do,” said Jerry. “I drive, I invest money. I’m not rich, but I’m not poor. I enjoy being healthy and being independent.”
Jerry has gone through a lot in his 35 years of living with a disability. Many barriers faced him, but he still pushed through to have a positive outlook and work through his limitations. Jerry states: “I don’t expect the world to revolve around us. I will adapt – make it so I can adapt.”
These people have redefined disabilities and have not let the notion of being unable to physically stand to get in the way of rising and facing the world. Adversity has brought out the best in these people. Instead of dwelling on their limitations, they face their misfortune head and live a happy, fulfilling life.