Ms. Wheelchair USA 2018
My name is Yessenia Luna, I’m 21 years old, and I have Cerebral Palsy. I am not able to speak clearly; therefore, I utilize TobyDynavox to communicate with people. All my life I was shy to talk in front of an audience, however, two years ago, I overcame my shyness and had the honor to compete in Ms. Wheelchair USA in the state of Ohio. As a contestant of Ms. Wheelchair USA 2018, my platform was “Rolling Together to Success” that would help people with disabilities to be able to buy special equipment to make life easier. “Rolling Together to Success” would be an organization that raises money and organizes charity activities to impact the lives of people with disabilities who are less fortunate. Also, people who are not using their wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, communication devices can donate to “Rolling Together to Success” to help children and adults that are struggling to purchase specialized equipment that they need to have a better life. As a person who has a disability, I comprehend the difficulties that others with disabilities similar to me face every day in life due to the inability to do things on their own. Most people with disabilities, especially me, want to be independent and not have to rely on others. We want to live a normal life, do things, and explore places on our own terms. However, our needs require us to depend on the support of others for transition, transportation, and other daily activities. We also rely on specialized equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, computers, communication devices, etc. To assist us in our daily lives to be as independent as possible.
Winning is not everything
Even though I did not win Ms. Wheelchair USA 2018, I learned many things, and I had an unforgettable experience with such incredible women, who are warriors. I admire them and cherish the time we spent together. I would not even imagine myself speaking, utilizing my Tobiidynavox in front of an audience, much less advocating for individuals with disabilities. They gave me power. Having or not having the title of Ms. Wheelchair USA 2018, I kept on donating special equipment for people with disabilities. Seeing the smile on a child's face, that you have helped, that feeling of satisfaction is priceless!