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Stopping to Smell the Flowers in My Life With a Disability

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People in public stare because I use a wheelchair, but that does not make me any different than you. I also love getting around and enjoying what life has to offer. Each of my wheelchairs have been Quickies. I name them after flowers because they are pretty and cheerful just like flowers. Each of them has had a special purpose and helped me grow.

I got my first wheelchair when I was 3 years old. It was a purple Quickie Zippie. I named her Violet. Together, Violet and I went on lots of adventures. It was with Violet that I first met Cinderella at Walt Disney World. Violet was also with me for my first day of preschool. She taught me to be social and helped me feel confident.

In second grade, I happily welcomed Rose to our family. Rose is a fuschia-colored Quickie Ki. Rose and I splashed through splash pads and rolled into the kiddie pool at Enchanted Forest Water Safari. I also got to wheel out onto the beach of the Atlantic Ocean at low tide. She carried me to go on shell-hunts and nature walks. Rose taught me to be a water lover and a nature lover. Rose showed me that she could take me places that my legs wouldn’t.

Last summer I was introduced to Daisy. She is a hot pink Quickie Zone. We don’t know each other that well yet. Daisy only got to carry me for the two weeks before my hip surgery. She waits patiently for me while I recover. When Daisy and I get reunited I look forward to taking her for spins on the local high school track. I can’t wait to show Daisy the beach pier at Fairhaven State Park, and I bet she will love going to Boston just like I do. I know Daisy and I will have a great time wheeling oceanside at the Boston Wharf.

The one thing that stinks about wheelchairs is that they can’t grow the same way people do. Eventually I outgrew Violet and Rose. I know I will also outgrow Daisy one day. Each wheelchair has helped me to go on the kind of adventures that teach me more about myself. Like the flowers they are named for, I bloom and grow alongside them.

¨Have courage and be kind” — Cinderella

Originally published: August 22, 2018
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