Chelsie Hill: Keep pushing, keep trying
You guys might remember I wrote a blog last year when Sundance Channel came out with a new reality show, "Push Girls," that focuses on women with wheelchairs in LA. Today, I got to talk to one of those "Push Girls," Chelsie Hill. Here's a sneak preview of the Q&A I'm working on:
In the years since being injured in a 2010 accident, Chelsie Hill, 20, has spent her time advocating against distracted driving and for people with spinal cord injuries. As one of the stars of Sundance Channel’s reality TV show “Push Girls,” she makes appearances around the country with her dance troupe to raise awareness about distracted driving and spinal cord injuries—including a July visit to the Greater Texas Rehab Providers Council Annual Conference. She spoke to HME News recently about her goals while traveling the country.
HME News: What’s it like being part of a hit reality show?
Chelsie Hill: I didn’t realize how powerful it was until I saw it on TV. It really breaks down stereotypes—it’s doing what it was meant to do. And it has really opened some doors for me and my mission, the Walk and Roll Foundation. It's weird seeing myself on TV though, and when I'm out, people go "Oh my gosh, it's Chelsie!" But it's awesome.
HME: What is the foundation’s goal?
Hill: To educate, inspire and provide. I want to educate people about distracted driving and spinal cord injuries, and inspire them with our dance team, Hotwheelz. This is a group of girls in wheelchairs who’ve been through something traumatic, but they’re still smiling. We also want to raise money to provide an exercise facility for people with spinal cord injuries in northern California.
HME: What role does your mobility equipment play in helping you achieve these goals?
Hill: It’s one of the most important things. You need to get involved in your community, get a good wheelchair and find something to be passionate about, whether it’s sports or dancing. You have to find something you think you cannot do and do it, keep pushing, and keep trying.