Easter Seals is all about giving people of all abilities independence. The reality television series Push Girls is all about having independence and strength despite incredible obstacles. The progressive TV series is about five women in wheelchairs and how paralysis affects them. They all have different stories, attitudes, and beliefs about being paralyzed. The show delves into the issues, challenges, and victories each of these four women have. Let’s start with Tiphany.
Tiphany was paralyzed at age 16 from a drunk driving accident. She was in a coma for numerous weeks. When she finally woke up, she was devastated to find out she would never walk again. Along with being heartbroken about her new limitations, Tiphany’s heart shattered at the thought of never being able to dance again. However, like our Easter Seals clients, Tiphany went after her dreams. After a few years in rehab and living at home, Tiphany was able to move to L.A. and follow her dreams of becoming a model. In her free time, she speaks to schools about drunk driving and participates in adaptive sports. Her family gave her enough support to be independent like our Easter Seals families support their loved ones. The second push girl is Angela, her roommate.
Angela was paralyzed in a car accident. She got thrown through the window of a car. She suffered from a broken neck and severed spinal cord. Doctors gave her a 3% chance of ever feeling or moving anything below her neck. Years later, she is able to manuver a manual wheelchair and feed herself, paint, and put on her own make up. Angela is an aspiring model and while she struggles to find “normal” modeling jobs, she models for Quickie Wheelchairs and Ti-Lite Wheelchairs. Our next push girl is Auti.
Like the push girls above, Auti almost died in a car accident. This left her paralyzed from the waist down. Auti danced for a career and performed for well known hip hop artists before her accident. After seven years of turmoil, Auti turned to God and got her life together. She is now the first professional hip-hop dancer in a wheelchair. Her husband is very supportive of Auti much like the families of Easter Seals. She also started Colours ‘n’ Motion, a hip-hop dance group for people in wheelchairs and is vigorously working on her acting/singing career. Next, Mia!
Mia has a different story of how she became paralyzed. One evening she found herself unable to move her legs. Within 12 hours, doctors discovered that an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) had ruptured in her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. An overwhelming attitude of determination allowed her to graduate high school on time, rush a sorority, and receive a degree in Media Production from the University of Florida. She currently lives in L.A. and is a graphic designer.
The youngest push girl is Chelsea. Chelsea left a party with a drunk driver and the SUV she was in veered off the road and crashed into a tree, snapping Chelsie’s back. She was paralyzed from the waist down. Despite her new obstacles, she graduated on time with her class and started college in February of this year. Her father and her started a not-for-profit called The Walk and Roll Foundation which helps people with spinal cord injuries. Chelsea’s family not only supports their daughter but many people who are similar to their daughter.
As you can clearly see, these strong women embody the mission of Easter Seals. They are living with maximum independence. They are living independently with the support of their families. At Easter Seals, we know for individuals with disabilities being supported by family, friends, and organizations like Easter Seals is crucial. Push Girls is on the Sundance channel on Mondays at 10 p.m. I hope you watch and comment on this site. What are your thoughts on these women who push independence to the max?
To meet the girls, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C–6tZGVDAs&feature=relmfu