In November 2021 I was honored to be crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina 2022, winning this advocacy competition on the platform of Health Insurance Advocacy. I have created this GoFundMe to ask my friends, family, and supporters around the globe to help take me to Ms. Wheelchair America National’s in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the summer of 2022.
Let me tell you a story about how I arrived to where I am today:
In August 2010 I took a shallow water diving leaving me a C6 complete quadriplegic when I was 27 years old. In the last 11 years I overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles after spending years in bed from debilitating pressure sores, spinal surgeries in China, cervical cancer, pulmonary embolism’s, to name a few. No matter what I was faced with I’ve always been blessed with an incredibly supportive family and the drive to push boundaries in every direction.
I’ve spent the last 11 years building a successful career as a quadriplegic, becoming an extremely active advocate in my local community in North Carolina, nationally, and globally. I presently work full-time, write for national disability magazines, sit on multiple nonprofit boards, am a public speaker, blogger, market researcher, day trader, and manage a full-time life despite a full-time disability.
I have two philosophies in life: Paying It Forward & Human Kindness!
I may live with a challenging disability, but I truly believe we have to help build others up who need help and promote self-advocacy within the disability community. With 1 in 4 people suffering from a disability globally, representing nearly 1 billion people, we simply cannot afford to ignore the needs of those in the disability world. Anyone of us can join this club for any reason, which is why it is imperative for all of us to pay attention to so many of the critical issues affecting those of us with disabilities today.
One such issue, which I have been working on for 11 years is health insurance advocacy. I have taught myself how to navigate the health insurance appeals system after being repeatedly denied dozens of times.
Quite frankly, I was fed up with having to rely solely on my medical professionals. So, I learned how to write my own letters of medical necessity and eventually figured out the right formula on how to have the right equipment and services covered by my insurance company, and, above all taking my knowledge to create a national platform to help others.
We live in a broken healthcare system, but until we achieve systemic change, we simply must figure out how to navigate within the system we have. This is where I come in. I am partnering with national nonprofits to create detailed step-by-step patient guides to navigating the health insurance appeals system, partnering with local elected officials, and introducing legislation to make medically necessary durable medical equipment more accessible for individuals with mobility impairments.
After winning multiple health insurance battles of my own I wanted to share what I had learned in order to make life just a little bit easier for those with disabilities because it is challenging enough living with a disability let alone trying to fight with your insurance company on a daily basis!
Please check out my website: Quirky Quad Diaries
to explore all of the work I have engaged in and what I am up to on a daily basis!
After winning Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina and being crowned the titleholder for 2022, I am now set to compete against 35 states And Grand Rapids, Michigan in July 2022. I am asking my friends, family, and supporters, to help sponsor me to attend this event. The $3,500 will go towards my entrance fee, travel, and hotel.
This is the point I would really like to get across. Locally I could find a few sponsors to help me attend the national Competition, but it’s not about the money itself. It’s about the promotion, education, and advocacy of what this competition really stands for.
Ms. Wheelchair America is an advocacy competition, not a beauty competition, which celebrates the advocacy achievements of women with physical mobility impairments. To my surprise not many people know about this competition and I, not only, would kindly ask you to contribute even the smallest of donations, but would like to spread awareness on what this competition stands for. It stands for powerful women with disabilities fighting for change in their communities.
Many of us with disabilities face incredible challenges on a daily basis and many of us still find ways to give back to our community because we simply won’t settle for less! It’s about living a life of dignity and respect. This is what the competition is all about and why I am creating a Go Fun Me page - To spread Awareness, Promote Advocacy, and Change the World!
Thank You so much in Advance for your Support!