The Inspiring Story of Chicago Mom of Three crowned Ms. Wheelchair USA 2023

A 35-year-old mother of three from Chicago has been named the 2023 Ms. Wheelchair USA winner, and she will now embark on a statewide tour.

Fanchon “Fannie” Pierce won the annual pageant honoring and supporting women with disabilities, as well as the People’s Choice Award.

Pierce’s amazing journey was featured in a People magazine piece, where she underlined the importance of self-belief and tenacity. She said, “You don’t need someone tapping on your shoulder telling you, ‘You can do it.’ You can tell yourself that.”

Pierce was shot seven times in 2009, resulting in a spinal cord injury that required her to use a wheelchair. She is now a role model, a member of six national honor societies, and the founder of We Will Wheel, a nonprofit devoted to peer mentoring.

Pierce’s journey has taken her to the spotlight as the 2023 Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant winner. This national tournament honors the individuality and strength of those who use wheelchairs. Contestants begin by submitting an application packet, which is then reviewed to determine state and regional champions. Ms. Wheelchair USA stated on its website that titleholders compete with other national finalists in a ten-day event held in July in Northeast, Ohio.

“Ms. Wheelchair USA provides a national platform for women with disabilities to exhibit their own kind of glamour, while encouraging and informing the viewers and all those involved,” the organization noted.

Pierce began a huge journey around the state after being awarded Ms. Wheelchair Illinois in March, visiting various schools, conferences, and towns. By sharing her own tale, she hoped to inspire others to stand up for themselves.

Pierce and the other finalists participated in daily educational sessions and group activities in the week leading up to the final pageant, which was held on July 28 and 29 in Ohio. Painting, visits to iconic places such as the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and a boisterous karaoke party were among the activities, according to a Facebook post.

Pierce will now embark on a statewide tour as Ms. Wheelchair USA, where she will offer guest speeches and make appearances. According to the event’s official website, she has also received a management contract.

In a Facebook post recently, Pierce wrote that “Telling my life story of being shot 7 times can be emotional and inspiring for many people. One of my main reason for not giving up is traveling to create positive social change.”

“I’m NOT giving up!” she stated.

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