Back in the time before I started thinking about what living with a wheelchair meant, it seems that my image of a person in a wheelchair was always that of a man. That image could be an athlete completing a marathon or crossing the finishing line at an athletics meeting. It could also have been an elderly gent being pushed, with plaid blanket protecting knees and legs from the cold, by his female carer. And of course, there are so many images of valiant veterans from various conflicts portrayed by Hollywood - all of whom seem to me to be male. There are not too many women in wheelchairs in films. One exception, of course, was Gina McKee's lovely performance playing Bella in the British film "Notting Hill" (1999).
The demographics, to some extent, explain these images. There are, in fact many more young men than young women using wheelchairs. Although the balance is reversed in later life. If you know of any inspirational Women in Wheelchairs please let us know with our Contact Us page.
So, to redirect my somewhat limited focus this page is dedicated to wheelchair women, their interests, and their needs.
A quote from Tiffiny Carlson:
"When I was injured at the age of 14, I automatically assumed I’d be destined to wear patterned muumuus and slippers in public, condemned to look frumpy before my time. But I was wrong. After 3 years of depression following my accident, I met a stylish paraplegic who worked at the rehab I went to. She proved all of my assumptions wrong. She was beautiful, successful, a wife, a mom, and she knew how to work a sexy office suit! Meeting her knocked me out of my depression and put me on the path to becoming a die-hard fashion addict."
A recent visitor to our shores (Sunday, 14 June 2009) is one of the bravest people I have come across. Hilary Lister, the quadriplegic sailor, arrived in Arklow on her solo sail around Great Britain. Previously, in August 2005, Hilary became the first quadriplegic to sail, solo, across the English Channel. She sailed into the record books in 6h 13min. Her trip on 14th. and 15th June 2009 Fishguard to Arklow was an overnight affair that took 14 hours.
We wish her every success as she continues her sailing around Great Britain and the other challenges she has set herself.
Womens Wheelchair Tennis at Wimbledon
Wimbledon 2009 saw Korie Homan and Esther Vergeer (NED) secure victory in the inaugural Wimbledon Women's Wheelchair Doubles final. Homan and Vergeer, the world’s top two singles and doubles players earned victory over Daniela di Toro (AUS) and Lucy Shuker (GBR) in the women's final.
“It’s amazing to win this,” said Vergeer. “I watched Wimbledon at home all my life and just to be here in the grounds the other day gave me goose bumps, so to get playing was a great feeling. Of course you think about winning, but to actually do it is another thing and to win the inaugural Wimbledon Women’s Wheelchair Doubles title is another great thing I can add to my list,” said the 27-year-old nine-time world champion, who remains unbeaten in singles and doubles wheelchair events at Grand Slams.
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