Kylie,

Thank you for your attempt to shed light on how beautiful a woman who uses a wheelchair for her mobility can be. Thank you for creating a photo shoot so controversial that people are actually talking about disability awareness and real people with disabilities in media. I wrote This poem I would like to share with you:

Advocacy isn’t just fighting the cause it’s living the cause:
Leadership by living  example.
Inspiration through perseverance despite the extreme adversities.
Endurance through negative barriers both structural and perceptual.
Courage in times of weakness.
Faith in times of confusion.

Advocacy is more than you wanting change for yourself. It’s about making change in others who may or may not have even known that change was needed.

You may have empathy for a woman who uses a wheelchair for her mobility, but until you truly know what it feels like to want to move your toes but can’t, want to get up and dance, but can’t, want to stand up to hug your loved ones, but can’t, want to take off and run, but can’t, or simply cross your legs on your own to look “sexy”, but can’t will you truly understand what life is like in my shoes.

There are many amazing actors with disabilities and beautiful models who use wheelchairs. Your attempt to advocate for us would have been rewarded and admired if you would have produced a shoot using real women with disabilities.

I challenge and invite you to explore my world and experience as a quadriplegic woman who is raising 3 kids, 2 grand kids, works, goes to school, advocates, models, and hosts a talk show.

Again thank you for bringing disability to the limelight we need to be seen, heard, and noticed.

Regards,

Margarita Elizondo

Margarita Elizondo is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, producer/host of Wheel Talk Wheel Issues, model, author and an ambassador for the Los Angeles Abilities Expo. She was paralyzed in 2006 after an intruder broke into her home. Now, a single mother of three and grandmother, she pursues a degree in Communication at Grossmont Community College, and works for Axia Management where she designed a wireless phone service for seniors and individuals with disabilities. As Ms. Wheelchair California 2013, she is a strong advocate in the disability community and volunteers for numerous nonprofits. You can follow her @Ms_Hotwheels on Twitter and Instagram, or reach her on Facebook or through www.margaritaelizondo.com.