Friday, March 22, 2013

Platform Speech

This was my platform speech for the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee 2013 Pageant.  The pageant was held at the Double Tree Hotel in downtown Chattanooga on Saturday, March 16 at 5:30 pm.  

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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