Your Ms. Wheelchair Illinois 2014

Hello, CMTA! My name is Pearl Gannon and I’m Ms. Wheelchair Illinois 2014. I am currently 27-years-old. At the age of eight I started having symptoms of a neuromuscular disorder but the doctors could not put a definitive name on it. It wasn’t until I was 26 when I received the diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth. I’m not sure what form of CMT I have but it causes not only the “normal” symptoms but hearing loss, meaning I wear bilateral hearing aids, and trouble with swallowing and digesting, so I have a feeding tube to help with nutrition.

I am very active in wheelchair sports such as wheelchair basketball, adaptive wake boarding, and adaptive skiing. I’ve tried many other sports but these are the three I stick with. Even while playing these sports I am double majoring in college. I take American Sign Language classes at two separate colleges while also studying social work for early childhood intervention.

For the next year I will be using my title to raise awareness about various disabilities. Not only that but I will be educating society when it comes to various disability related issues. I will be targeting the disabled to advocate positive mental health, personally interacting with as many people as possible to make a difference. Within the next year I will be visiting schools to bring hope and direction to our youth and also help teach what being disabled is all about, both from an athletic and personal perspective. I will be attending different expos to bring awareness to the Ms. Wheelchair Illinois pageants and also attending many different sports events, both adapted and able-bodied.

In early August I will be traveling to Long Beach, California to compete for Ms. Wheelchair America 2015. I will meet 28-30 other crown holders from various states, all competing for the same title. I’m very excited to even have the opportunity to meet these other amazing and inspiring women whom are all making a difference in their states, advocating for their passions.

Donations to help get me to Nationals are accepted on PayPal at ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■.

Very inspirational, fighting4truth! It sounds like an exciting year for you. Thanks you for sharing!

Warmest welcome to you, Pearl! You are surely an inspiration to us all! I look forward to getting to know you!

Wishing you well,

SK