I am a freelance writer, public speaker, disability advocate/consultant and communications professional based in New York City.
Life throws everyone curve balls, unexpected pitfalls, fortunes, etc. What you do with them is your own. I’d love to tell you that since I was paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 5, I have crushed it, but that would be bullshit. In truth, my life up to this point have been a series of what feel like starts and stops. Finding my way has been a journey that has involved a lot of heartache and rejection, mainly in my career.
As a person with a disability living and working in America, I still face constant discrimination, ignorance and ableism in my every day life, especially in New York. I have been fortunate to live in diverse cities across the U.S. including San Diego, Boston, and Los Angeles, chasing my thirst for adventure and my drive for what 25 year-old-me viewed as success, but finding that what’s truly important is more about changing the world around you for good.
My writing focuses on my unique experiences and perspectives on many topics including travel, work, fitness, and relationships, and tips from the successes and missteps along the way. They can be overly self-centered and perhaps a bit too idealistic, but with every word, I hope to educate and inspire others with an honest insight to a variety of aspects of life, while making people laugh. My experience I don’t believe is necessarily unique to the disabled experience, but I like to think that the more people are exposed to a breadth of diverse people with disabilities, the less stigma there will be attached to seeing a person using a wheelchair.
In December of 199o, I was in a head-on car collision coming home from a day of ice skating with my family. I was sitting in the back seat, and suffered a spinal cord injury along with intestinal injuries. I am a complete paraplegic and have been in a wheelchair ever since, but have had a remarkable and normal life, thanks to amazing parents and a wonderful support system.
I use a piece of equipment to get around and still have to frequently deal with the ignorance of others, but my life is otherwise amazing and I feel incredibly lucky. In my case, life in a wheelchair has been something that I just need to make the most of it - from playing tennis to running a half marathon and having awesome travel experiences, I can't wait for what comes next. Chair and all.
After completing four years of music school where I studied oboe and music education, I realized a career in education was not the right path for me. After becoming Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts in 2009, I spent time at public events, raising awareness for the disabled and speaking on their behalf. The experience lead me to realize I should return to my dream path since I was in high school: becoming a press secretary.
I returned to school for Strategic Communications and have a career that I'm passionate about, and has lead me to where I am now.
I have been somewhat adventurous since a child - my disability hasn't really slowed me down, but has taught me new pathways for discovery. From London to San Diego, I've gotten to meet some of the coolest, kindest people and am discovering new interests along the way.
Perhaps the best trip I've been on to date, was a two-week road trip around Scotland including several distillery visits. The people and scenery were breathtaking and surprisingly diverse.
When it was time for me to move cross-country for a second time, I drove the 44-hour road trip by myself as an opportunity for discovery, meditation and reflection. My road trips (both solo and with company) always offer a fresh perspective, and provide me with answers to parts of life I don't often take time to think about.
I'm on a never-ending quest for the perfect sunrises and sunsets, and it's a top priority anytime I visit a new place. I also make a point to see equal amounts of cities and rural areas, having dinner and drinks with locals.