Photo by Layna Hendrich of PhotographyLayn

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guest Blogger: Chandra Hendricks

We are less than 60 days from the 2014 Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant! I will continue to introduce the contestants as we get closer, and I am very proud and excited today to share with you all about Ms. Wheelchair Wyoming 2014-2015, Chandra Hendricks! Chandra is a Mom, and she just happens to be from the best state in the country! She is a shining example of someone who has learned from her mistakes and wants to use those life lessons to inspire and help others. Meet Chandra!

  • Tell us a little about yourself?

I am 31years old. I am a single mother to a beautiful 6 almost 7 yr. old who is my world. I am a stay-at-home mom and I home-school my daughter. I was home-schooled from 3rd grade on.  I come from a larger family; I have three brothers and three sisters. I love taking pictures of everything from my daughter and my family, to the outdoors-flowers, animals, sunrises, sunsets, and clouds.

  • Tell us about your disability?

On June 15th, 2003, I was in a car accident that involved three other people and left me paralyzed from the chest down.  We were drinking and decided it was time to go home, so we headed down the mountain. We had all been drinking alcohol. The driver began going too fast on the gravel road and lost control of the car. I had buckled my seat belt seconds before we began losing control, and that is what saved my life. The other three people were thrown from the car and died. I was the only one remaining in the vehicle. Due to my injuries, I am a C-6/7 incomplete quadriplegic.   

  • What is your platform/motto in life?

My platform is about drinking and driving and the choices that come with it. I am always positive and look for the silver lining in every bad situation. I believe that our attitude truly does shape our outlook on life. I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we will never know those reasons, but God does and He knows what He is doing, whether we can see it, agree with it, or even like it. All we can do is keep on pushing on, keep our heads up and continue to stay strong. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to playing the “what ifs” and “whys.”

  • What are your favorite activities?

I love photography, baking, cooking, and hanging out with my daughter, family and friends. 

  • What is something we might not know about you? 
I absolutely hate mushrooms, and I want to go skydiving for my 32nd birthday.
  • What are your future plans?
I want to learn how to drive and get a van that allows me to drive me and my daughter around. I would also like to finish my schooling (once I figure out what I want to do). I would like to move into my own home. And I hope to meet a nice man and get married someday.
  • What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome?

I would say that one of the biggest obstacles I have had to overcome was learning to live with such a life changing event. I had no choice but to make the best out of the situation. Also, it was difficult to learn how to write left handed, due to my left had being stronger than my right.

  • What is the best advice you would give to someone with a recent injury/diagnosis?
Make the best out of your situation and don’t live with the “what ifs” or the “whys” because they are things you will never know or understand and they could/would drive you crazy. You’re stronger than you believe that you are, you will be ok, and life can still go on.
  • Anything else you would like to share?
I am a very easy going person, and I enjoy being around people; however, I am somewhat shy at first. I am very excited and nervous for the national competition, and I am very excited to meet all the other women. I have never done anything like this in my life, and I believe that it will be a life changing experience.

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