This past year as Ms. Wheelchair Washington has been one of many challenges and accomplishments. I was able to challenge myself to go to places and do things that I had never done before. Being given the ability to put my passions and dreams for people living with disabilities into action is something that I will cherish forever. Winning the title of Ms. Wheelchair Washington enabled me to jump start my life journey as an strong advocate for people living with disabilities.
I have many personal goals that I still want to accomplish including making the H.O.P.E.S. Foundation a successful organization. H.O.P.E.S. stands for Helping Others Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually. The goals of the H.O.P.E.S. Foundation are the same goals that drove my best friend, Tony McCane, to be the advocate that he was. He passed away from a lung infection less than two months into my reign as Ms. Wheelchair Washington. My entire year was dedicated to him.
If there is anything that I can leave all of you with, it is that just because people have disabilities, does not mean we have limits, and together we are stronger when we empower, encourage and support one another. Limitations need not be an obstacle, yet instead be seen as an opportunity. We all have challenges in life, and it is how we choose to face those challenges that define who we are.
I am looking forward to working with and getting to know the next Ms. Wheelchair Washington! I am so blessed to be permanently involved with this wonderful group of women!
Thank you to everyone who has helped to make my year as Ms. Wheelchair Washington a success that will never be forgotten!