SCI Life: June 2014

Brianna ScalesseFashionista on Wheels
Sometimes we are blessed with a beautiful face, but for whatever reason we can’t see it ourselves. This is exactly what happened to Brianna Scalesse, a T12 paraplegic and Trinity College sophomore from Hartford, Conn.

Injured when she was just 6 years old in a car accident that killed her mother and left her in her grandmother’s care, Scalesse had a hard time being different growing up. “I constantly daydreamed about waking up one day and being able to walk,” she says. But she didn’t let that unfulfilled daydream stop her.

As a little girl she had parties at her house for her and her girlfriends, creating her own social circle. She also embraced how she looked in her teens, skinny legs and all. “I thought that if I could walk, more boys would be interested in me and I would feel more beautiful,” she says. “But in college I realized confidence is 10 times more important than how you actually look.”

Much of her confidence comes from her experience with fashion. “All of the women in my family have a great sense of style, and I learned from them. I never wanted to be that person in a wheelchair who wore sweat pants because it was easier,” says Scalesse. “I’ve been picking out my next day’s outfit and jewelry the night before for as long as I can remember. When I’m wearing the perfect outfit, I just feel right.”

For women who use wheelchairs, Scalesse recommends dressing boldly. “Wear what you want to wear, and don’t let the chair stop you. Wise beyond her years at only 19 years old, she has already figured out how to love who she is — something that can take many people with disabilities much longer to figure out.

The Ultimate Wheelchair Home Gym
Over the years there have been several universal gyms created for  wheelchair users. While some were definitely better than others, there has been nothing like the Wheelchair Fitness Solution — a training system designed exclusively for wheelchair users that offers 30 different exercises.

Wheelchair-Fitness-SolutionFeaturing a central stackable weight unit, various extensions for training your upper body, as well as a harness that helps you achieve maximum resistance, this training system can replace most free-weight sessions. It also offers much more than just free weights; resistance training is possible.

The Wheelchair Fitness Solution includes additional features like a pulley system, a punching bag, hand-pedaling, parallel bars, chin-up bar and quick release harness clips for transitioning between exercises. Your arms, shoulders, chest, back and abdomen can also get a traditional workout on this machine.

With so many exercise possibilities, you may be able to cancel that gym membership. See for yourself: www.wheelchairfitnesssolution.com.

Quad’s New Band Drops First Video
Injured nearly five years ago in a diving accident, former music student Gabe Roderick, 20, a C5-6 quad from Minneapolis, Minn., has gone on to start his own band, Treading North. Their single, “Dunes,” from their album Beautifully Gone Wrong, is one of the coolest music videos you’ll ever see featuring a wheelchair user: www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0drw3ITMdI

Learn more: www.treadingnorth.bandcamp.com

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