If Push Girls were to cast another season, Steph Aiello, 26, from San Bernadino, California, would definitely be on the show. Injured at the C5 level in a car accident in 2010 while driving home from Las Vegas, she has figured out how to live her life like a boss. “My injury doesn’t take a break from my life, so why am I going to stop living my life because of my injury?”
One of her biggest passions in life is beauty. “Glam was always in my soul. I was supposed to start cosmetology school after my accident,” Aiello says. “Style has and always will be running through my veins. I’m now a licensed makeup artist and am more confident about my art than ever.” But it wasn’t an easy process getting here.
“When I was initially injured, I had no idea what challenges I was in for. I felt foreign in my own body, I had many moments of feeling as if I didn’t belong in this superficial world anymore and hated the idea of being ‘different.’” It was Steph’s identical twin sister, Tiff, who helped her see her life was still worth living. “My twin sister used to get so upset with me whenever I said, ‘I want to be normal again.’ It took me a good year until I woke up telling myself that I was alive and blessed.”
Now a popular and fiercely independent beauty vlogger, she is unstoppable. Aiello is also the first quad to join The Walk and Roll Dance Team, a hip-hop wheelchair dance team. “I’m in love with my dance team! These girls inspire me so much and keep me motivated to try new things. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity, the friendships and workouts I get from the dance team, and the weekly classes are amazing.”
Follow her on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/StephSCI
Significant Others Keeping It Real
For those who date people with spinal cord injuries, learning about our world has a learning curve and comes with its fair share of intimidating moments. But Sam, a 29-year-old RN, and Chelsea, a 27-year-old filmmaker, wanted to show the world that their relationships with men who are paraplegics aren’t as different as the world might think.
They debuted their blog — Wheel Love (aka “Life, Love and Wheelies”) — earlier this year, and it has been growing in popularity quickly. Many of their blog posts are on topics that prospective daters are curious about, like “Top 10 Wheelchair Date Ideas” and “Mom, Dad? My Boyfriend’s a Paraplegic …” They also touch on what they’ve learned like, “10 Things We Learned from Dating Someone in a Wheelchair” and “Your Wheelchair Makes Me Awesome.”
Read the blog — wheellove.ca.
The Autopilot Wheelchair Cometh
Using a joystick is hard for Valery Spiridonov, a Russian engineer and wheelchair user. To solve this problem and help others, Spiridonov is developing “The Clever Chair,” a wheelchair accessory that will learn your home environment and drive you to certain rooms with the touch of a button.
See for yourself at cleverchair.com.