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Draw Inspiration from These Four Famous Wheelchair Users

See what perseverance, determination, and just a little bit of grit can do. Read the stories of four wheelchair users and draw inspiration from their lives when it comes to achieving great things!

  1. Aaron Fotheringham – Born in 1991 with spina bifida, Aaron has been a wheelchair user since he was eight years old. After watching his older brother at the skate park, Aaron saw a sport that he could conquer, and conquer it he did. Aaron became the first person to land a backflip, double backflip, and front flip in a wheelchair and set numerous world records through wheelchair motocross. He hopes his efforts encourage others to use their wheelchairs in unique and different ways.
  2. Franklin D. Roosevelt – FDR isn’t remembered as the president in the wheelchair but as the president that led a country through World War II and the Great Depression. After drinking contaminated water, FDR contracted polio, becoming paralyzed from the waist down. While it wasn’t common knowledge that he was paralyzed, his disability never prevented him from being a great leader and tackling challenges head on.
  3. Frida Kahlo – Known for her fiercely painted self-portraits, Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who encountered several physical challenges throughout her life. She was born with a misshapen leg and contracted polio at the age of six. While she was a teenager, she was involved in an accident with a trolley, and became bed-ridden while her broken back healed. This eventually led to her using a wheelchair. While her dream of becoming a physician was derailed, Frida found an outlet through art and became well-known for her work.
  4. Tanni Grey-Thompson – Paralympian, TV presenter, and parliamentarian. These are all hats Tanni Grey-Thompson has worn. Born with spina bifida, Tanni never let this keep her from living the life she wanted. Tanni went on to win 16 medals in several Paralympic Games, becoming one of the most decorated athletes hailing from the U.K. Today, you can find Tanni coaching parathlete Jade Jones and serving as an Independent Crossbench Peer in the House of the Lords. She uses this platform to advocate for disability rights, welfare reform, and sports.

We hope you find inspiration in these people who continued to live out their dreams and overcame obstacles to take on the world. Who inspires you? Leave a comment below!

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