Monday, February 21, 2011
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
· A Massachusetts resident
· Between the ages of 21 – 60
· Marital status is not a factor
· Using a wheelchair for 100% of your active daily mobility
You could be crowned as the new Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts 2009!
Sunday, March 29th, 2009
“Carson Place” at the Bayside Expo Center
180 Mt. Vernon Street
Boston, MA 02125
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts is NOT a beauty contest. Contestants are judged on their accomplishments, self-perception, and communication skills in: Personal Interviews, On-stage Interviews, and Platform Speech
The winner will compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America 2010 in South Dakota in August 2009!
Entry fee is $150 per contestant. Contestants are encouraged to solicit sponsorship to cover this fee. Scholarships are available if this cost is prohibitive. Fee includes lunch for contestant and companion, pageant DVD, and an 8x10 contestant photo.
APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY MARCH 15, 2009
For more information or to apply, contact Autumn Grant at 774-501-1185 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stop by our website at www.mswheelchairmass.org
Meet Ms. Wheelchair America 2008 and Ms. Wheelchair America 2007
at this year’s pageant!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Dream Come True
Where should I begin? Becoming Ms Wheelchair America 2008 has been like a dream come true. I feel so honored to have been selected as a leader among an incredible field of women. I never could have imagined the journey I would be embarking on last July when I arrived at the pageant. It has been a year I’ll never forget…
Women of Strength
At the Ms Wheelchair America 2008 Pageant last summer, I had the incredible opportunity to meet women from all across America who use wheelchairs for their daily mobility. We truly bonded during our week together, and many of us have established life-long friendships. It was so empowering to hear about the other contestants’ personal platforms and learn about all of the great work they were doing in their home states. We had such diversity among us: career women, stay-at-home moms, graduate students, dancers, teachers, writers, and more... What an incredible display of talent! After I became the national titleholder, I was given the chance to travel throughout the country to speak about the accomplishments of these women of strength. As I ventured out proudly on my reign, I met even more successful, dynamic women with disabilities than I ever even knew existed. I met women from every corner of the United States who are active and involved in politics, parenting, recreation and work – and they are making a significant impact on the disability community. It was a thrilling, invigorating experience.
On The Road
My first trip was to sunny Southern California for the Tournament of Roses. I got to meet the Rose Queen and her Court; I was allowed a back-stage pass to tour the floats for the Rose Parade as they were being built; and I got a front-row seat at the parade. During my visit to Pasadena, I worked to connect MWA with representatives of the Kiwanis Organization, and together we made history! Next year – for the first time ever – Ms Wheelchair America will not just be at the Rose Parade, she will be in the Rose Parade!
Next I visited frosty but friendly Deadwood, South Dakota for the annual Ski For Light event. What fun! I got a tour of the historic old Western town where Wild Bill Hickok once lived; I got to see the faces on Mt. Rushmore; and I participated in a few downhill ski runs. The Ski For Light group was fantastic! They are upbeat, fun, and they even showed me a few “wheelie” moves on the saloon dance floor. I can’t wait to go back next year…
Then I was off to Tucson, Arizona where I gave the keynote speech at the Disabled Divaz fashion show. I got to meet all of the runway models, who were so beautiful on the inside as well as the outside! It was my first time down the catwalk, so I got a few pointers from the women who had been preparing for the show for months. Kudos to them all…
My final trip was to the Little League World Challenger Jamboree in Virginia Beach. Here I met family members, friends and volunteers who were dedicated to children with disabilities. The kids beamed when they saw my crown, and one mother told me her daughter said that she wanted to be Ms Wheelchair America when she grew up. The children were priceless and precious!
Opportunity for Advocacy
Besides having a chance to inspire and empower women, I also got to advocate for vital programs and services that facilitate success and independence for individuals with disabilities. Last November, I interviewed Senator Hillary Clinton at a Presidential Primary Election. I told her about the importance of health care, economic opportunity, and medical research for those living with disabilities. In the spring, I went to Washington DC as a guest of AA Homecare to advocate for home care, medical equipment and DME supplies to allow people to remain living in the community rather than being forced into facilities. In my home state of Massachusetts, I rallied on Beacon Hill with other advocates to ensure protection of the “Community First Act” and other legislation. I had the chance to do a lot of outreach on my MWA ’08 platform as well: Physical Fitness for People with Disabilities. I attended several Expos and Conferences where I presented workshops on exercise and nutrition, and I taught wheelchair aerobics sessions to people of all ages – from young kids to seniors – they loved working out! And I loved interacting with all of them.
During the course of my reign, I was able to spread my message of Leading by Example across America. By this statement I mean simply, if I can do it, you can too! I did so much outreach about my passions: fitness, travel, employment, mentoring, literacy, and more. I got many people with disabilities to join exercise and nutrition programs. One woman wrote to me that she lost 22 pounds after she followed my example! Another young girl shared her writing with me – and later she got it published! And of course the highlight of my reign will always be securing MWA’s place in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
My travels are now at an end, and I am both happy and sad to hand over my crown. It seemed like each place I visited, I met a former “Ms Wheelchair somebody“ from one state or another, and I ended up making a very long list of new friends. We all have had our time to reign, and now it is time for me to sit back and cheer on the incumbent.
I am a proud wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, peer mentor, advocate, and woman with a disability, and I will always be proud to have been named Ms Wheelchair America 2008.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I can't believe it's been a year already since I competed for the crown! I have had a wonderful year, traveling across the country as an advocate and voice of over 50 million Americans with disabilities. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to give something back to my country in this way, as well as to positively affect the lives of those living with disabilities. I hope to continue my advocacy work for a long time to come...
I would like to thank all of those people who have supported me along the way - my husband, family, friends, peers, blog-readers, and everyone else who has touched my life. This has been a year I will indeed cherish for the rest of my life.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Origins mission is to promote beauty and wellness through good-for-you products and feel-good experiences by celebrating the connection between Mother Nature and Human Nature.
Since it launched in 1990, Origins has been about looking at things in different ways. Choices. Alternatives. New experiences. All sorts of exciting new possibilities. And always finding answers in nature. Since 1990, we’ve been creating and innovating healthful choices in Skin Care, Hair Care, Bath and Body, Color and Sensory Therapy® products using the best of nature along with trying to do what’s best for the planet and what’s best for you. Our many unique products go beyond physical appearance to treat, touch, scent and surround every aspect of your being and well-being. We create products for farmhouse and penthouse, for men and women, babies and pets, getting and gifting. Whether you need an aromatic candle to light your way...or a special gift to make someone’s day, you’ll find just what you need to live a more natural lifestyle at Origins.
Special thanks to store manager Ginny for this very generous donation!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I met with the President of the International Kiwanis Club, Dave Curry (above), Rose Float Builder's Administrator Larry Maddick (below), and other members of MWA in January when I went out to Pasedena to participate in this year's Rose Bowl festivities. The Kiwanis were extremely impressed with MWA and eagerly agreed that we should form a partnership to have Ms Wheelchair America in the Rose Parade next year! This is such groundbreaking, exciting news!!! We shored things up in May when I met with Larry Maddick again at the Abilities Expo in Anaheim. (Check out our YouTube Interview - right)
This major accomplishment proves that change is possible with hard work, patience and true committment to the cause...
Monday, July 14, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Read the ARTICLE, "Leading by Example" by clicking HERE.
Click HERE to see the SpeciaLiving Magazine.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
Below are excerpts from this hallowed document, the foundation of our country:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States...
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Spaulding Main Campus
(Rain Date Thursday, July 17)
Gain exposure to local organizations, resources, equipment and participate
in adaptive sports
Sponsored by: Therapeutic Recreation Department
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
State Representative Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) delivered the keynote summit address. After addressing the capacity crowd in a candid speech, Rep. Galvano allowed for a "Q&A" session, where participants asked direct, often pointed, questions to the state representative.
Featured between nearly every breakout session was the famous "Pyramid Players." This lively group provided entertainment during the breaks between sessions for all passers-by. The youth participating may not be seen on the next season of American Idol, but their brand of song, dance, and demonstration was a certain crowd-pleaser.
Over 100 exhibitors were on hand to showcase their products and services. They ranged from national advocacy groups like Paralyzed Veterans of America and AARP to local art vendors. Also present were various industry experts helping the disabled with products to enhance their lives with improved wheelchairs, practical shower stalls, and usable, attractive cars that are fully accessible.
Some of the exhibitors were given the opportunity to share detailed information in the concurrent sessions. This enabled interested individuals to hear the full range of services and products offered by the exhibitors.
Even Ms. Wheelchair America 2008, the lovely Kristen McCosh of Boston, was present to autograph photos and discuss her exercise program for the disabled. Her personal story of overcoming the obstacles of both disabilities and the challenges of fitness give her the motivation ("Lead by example") to help others in their quest to enrich their own lives.
At the end of the second evening, guests were treated with a special presentation by the "Dueling Pianos." This crowd pleaser has become a staple for those who want wholesome entertainment during a very intense program.
Present for the conference were families of all political stripes. But politics were set aside. Each family had their own story to tell. Some disabilities were not always apparent, such as8 mild autism. Others were quite obvious in the form of a wheelchair-bound child, unable to perform the simplest of tasks. Parents of children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, blindness, missing limbs, and countless other issues all shared a common purpose on that weekend: Helping and encouraging each other through government, church, charity, community, and family.
A seemingly balanced mixture of all facets of community was showcased on Disney property.
On the web at http://www.familycafe.net/
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Come out and join me on Friday, July 4, 2008, for the Pittsfield Parade!
Parade treasurer, Peter Marchetti said, “David Grover is a national figure whose talent has been recognized with many awards over the years. Children in Berkshire County grew up listening to the fun, uplifting music of the Big Bear Band. David has such a natural ability to teach children and their families through his music and we thought with our theme this year, A World of Music, it was a perfect fit.”
Monday, June 23, 2008
- Act Today to Preserve the First Month Purchase Option for Power Wheelchairs
- Standard Power Wheelchairs are not "One Size Fits All"
A short window is open in which individuals can act to preserve the "first month purchase option" for power wheelchair users to help ensure that every wheelchair user has the correct equipment for his or her individual needs. Contact your Congressional Members and let them know you want to retain the right to choose!
Currently, when a supplier receives information from a person's doctor that a power wheelchair is needed, the supplier will meet with the individual to ensure the best power wheelchair is ordered, one which will meet all of the needs for the individual.
Medicare currently allows an individual to choose whether they want to purchase the power wheelchair that is right for their size, disability and home situation, or just to rent a power chair. Ninety-five percent of beneficiaries choose to purchase the power wheelchair because one size does not fit all.
If you are required to rent your power wheelchair, instead of having the option to purchase, complications likely to arise include the following:
- • The supplier will provide you with the "type" of power wheelchair from their inventory of available rental items. It will not be ordered to your specifications;
- • You may receive a new power wheelchair or you may receive a used power wheelchair during your rental period. This will be dependent upon the supplier's inventory at the time that the wheelchair is requested;
- • The supplier retains ownership of the power wheelchair you are provided until a full 13 months of rental have been paid, at which time ownership of the power wheelchair is transferred to you;
- • If you rent the power wheelchair for the full 13 months you, and the Medicare program, will pay 5% more for it than you would have if you had the option to purchase it in the first month;
- • If you enter the hospital or a skilled nursing facility at any time during the 13 month rental period you do not have coverage for the power wheelchair during your inpatient stay. The supplier may pick the chair up, clean it and return it to their inventory for the next beneficiary that needs to rent a power wheelchair of that "type";
- • If you still have a medical need for a power wheelchair upon discharge from the hospital or nursing home the supplier can deliver a power wheelchair back to you; however, there is no guarantee that you will receive the chair you have become accustomed to.
You can copy and email the below letter or call your Senator.
JOHN F. KERRY, MA email to his aide Chris Dawe email@example.com
Dear Senator Kerry;
Please keep the current legislation on Medicare provision to purchase a Power Wheelchair so that the current Medicare beneficiaries have the choice to rent or purchase their power wheelchair. Please keep all power wheelchairs available for purchase after the first month. If you limit power wheelchairs, you limit those of us that need 90% of all power wheelchairs purchased that we will own for life.
I am asking you to please consider recommendations that will retain this option and allow the beneficiary the option to purchase the equipment in the first month in order to ensure appropriate beneficiary access and lower costs to both Medicare beneficiaries and the Medicare program. Please allow our physicians who see us regularly to make the choice on our behalf.
Eliminating this option will limit access of power wheelchairs and to the people who most need mobility. Mobility is everything to a person with a disability, it could mean being able to get to your bathroom, do your dishes, answer the door, go to a doctor’s appointment and most of all live an independent life. Limiting mobility wills injure and harm those who are only asking to have the choice of mobility.
Congressional switchboard number 202-224-3121US Senate Members http://www.senate.gov/US Representative Members http://www.house.gov/
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Kristen McCosh - Ms. Wheelchair America, 2008
Presented by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Saturday, June 21 - 1:00pm @ the Demo Stage, Hall B, 1325
Welcome to the Second Annual Boston Health Expo at the HYNES CONVENTION CENTER, BOYLSTON STREET, BOSTON. 7 NBC/CW56 and Partners HealthCare welcome you to Boston's second annual Health & Fitness Expo. We share a deep commitment to helping Boston-area residents improve their health and stay fit and healthy for the future. That's why we've come together to offer two days filled with over one hundred lively, educational and healthy activities for visitors of all ages. The Health & Fitness Expo is a FREE 2-day event at Boston's Hynes Convention Center that is about keeping you and your family fit and healthy. There's something for everyone at the Expo:
- free health tests and screenings
- a chance to talk with some of Boston's leading physicians and health experts
- interactive sports and fitness activities for adults and kids
- healthy cooking demonstrations
- celebrity guests, including 7 NBC personalities, and more!
Browse the web site daily to see what's in-store and plan to join to us on June 21st and 22nd! We look forward to seeing you there!