Three Role Models Wheelchair Users Can Look to For Inspiration

January 6, 2016 | 5:00 am | By Pants Up Easy

2015 might be remembered as the end of heroes in America. It seemed like longtime celebrities and important people were getting trashed left and right, with images being tarnished and legacies being destroyed. Bill Cosby lost every fan he had left. Tom Brady revealed himself to be a cheater or a buffoon, or possibly both? Heck, J. Cole wrote a hit song called “No Role Modelz” (explicit lyrics, but a good song). And after this year, are there any left in the world?

Fortunately, there are many more heroes in the world aside from old comedians and quarterbacks. They might be what you consider “ordinary,” but hey, it worked for the Foo Fighters. If you’re in a wheelchair, here are some rode models to look to for inspiration:

Stephen Hawking

He’s considered one of the most intelligent and respected minds in the world of science, despite the fact he’s confined to a wheelchair and suffers from ALS. It hasn’t stopped him from making new discoveries while still keeping his sense of humor. Plus, he’s less annoying than America’s other popular science man, Neil Degrasse Tyson, who’s getting a bit obnoxious lately.

Dr. Danielle Sheypuk and Carrie Hammer

You probably don’t recognize the names, but you may not forget them after hearing this. Hammer is a fashion designer who said she made the conscious choice to showcase “role models” instead of regular models for a 2014 fashion show. So the first model to grace the stage didn’t walk the runway – she rolled across it in her wheelchair. Dr. Sheypuk, who was Ms. Wheelchair New York in 2012, kicked off the fashion show in style.

Christopher Reeve

Perhaps the most famous person to ever be wheelchair bound, the former Superman suffered a tragic horse-riding accident that rendered him paralyzed. However, instead of allowing his condition to define him, Reeve became an outspoken advocate for disability rights and those with spinal cord injuries. He lobbied Congress, raised money and even spoke out in favor of legislation aimed to help those with disabilities. Up until the final days of his life, there were few better friends to the disabled community than the Man of Steel.

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