ST. LOUIS (KTVI)--This summer a Chesterfield woman will be one of many women on wheels competing for the title of Ms. Wheel Chair America In Rhode Island. Kristen Jones was selected the 2012 Ms. Wheelchair America of Missouri now her eyes are on the national title. Put aside your preconceived notions about the tiara and sash. While the winners still sport these emblems, the journey they take to earn them is quite different. The Ms. Wheelchair America judges focus on different criteria. These women are not judged by their looks, but rather their ambition to advocate for a specific cause. Women from all over the country, ages 21-60, who use wheelchairs as their primary mode of transportation, come together once a year to compete for the title, "Ms. Wheelchair America!" On October 4th, 2000, Kristine Jones took her last steps .After spending 4 years In an abusive relationship,It ended In a tragic event. Jones was assaulted resulting In a spinal cord injury ,which left her paralyzed." I had to spend several months In the hospital following trauma surgery, "and I emerged from the hospital terrified of the "new world" I was supposed to blend In with. One day you are walking, and the next you are told by a doctor that, "you will never walk again." what are you supposed to do with that? I had no Idea," said Jones.
Jones is working to Improve accessibility for people living with disabilities and also become an advocate for victims of domestic violence for nationals, each woman must first win the state title. The requirement to participate Include raising money for your pageant entry, preparing a platform speech on a topic of their choice, as well as preparing a presentation board. The week at nationals consists of several Interviewing sessions with judges, yet It is also a memorable week for the contestants who are able to attend seminars, dances, all-accessible parks, and spend time with other women who can relate to them In ways that many able-bodied women cannot. The mission of Ms. Wheelchair America Is to provide an opportunity of achievement for women who happen to use wheelchairs to educate and advocate for the more than 54 million Americans living with disabilities. Kristine Jones will head to Rhode Island in August to compete in the national competition.
For more information about the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant log onto http://www.mswheelchairamerica.org/donate-sponsor.html