Lowcountry woman to compete for Ms Wheelchair USA - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Lowcountry woman to compete for Ms Wheelchair USA

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BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) -

Twenty- three year old Jarae Anderson is making some big strides in life. She's driving, she has her own apartment, and she's working.

"I can learn to love myself now," said Anderson.

It took her a long time to get to this point.

Jarae was in a car wreck caused by a drunk driver when she was seven. She was thrown from the car.  Five of the people in the car died. Jarae didn't, but she also didn't walk away. She's paralyzed.

That night changed her life forever.

"My mom and dad never let me be down about myself. They made me do everything the normal way," she said. "So I learned to be who I am , and now I just want to make a difference."

That's exactly what she's doing.

To her surprise, Jarae was chosen to represent South Carolina in the Ms Wheelchair USA pageant.  She will compete against 49 other women for the title. 

"Little ol' me win?" was her response when she first found out she was chosen. "I didn't think so, but they said I won."

Unlike traditional beauty pageants, Ms Wheelchair USA is a competition based on advocacy, achievement, communication and presentation. The goal is to select the best spokeswoman for persons with disabilities.

Whether she wins Ms Wheelchair USA, or not, Jarae says she's just happy to be representing South Carolina, and inspiring others like her.

She wants to show others that they can love themselves too.

"It's alright to be who I am in a wheelchair, and that's a woman in a wheelchair," she said. "I'm not just a girl in a chair. I'm  a woman."

Jarae will compete for the title of Ms Wheelchair USA this July in Ohio.

For more information about the pageant, click this link:

http://www.mswheelchairamerica.org/gallery.html

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