Transcript of Acceptance Speech

Thank you for your kind words and nomination, Isabella. I truly appreciate it.

When I told my husband Darrell that I was nominated for a Misbehaving Woman Award, he said it was about time I was caught for misbehaving! He has learned to expect the unexpected from me.

Thinking about what I might say tonight, one story came to mind. Several years ago, Darrell and I visited Van Duessen Gardens. Upon paying the admission, we received a map showing the various paths, including the nicely paved ones designated for wheelchairs. I wanted to spend the next few hours enjoying the gardens. I didn’t want to spend that time reading a map to follow the wheelchair path. The map was quickly tossed into Darrell’s bag on the back of his wheelchair and off we went, wandering the gardens without knowing what was around the next corner.

This story sums up how I have chosen to live life. People have expected me to take the nicely paved path laid out for the disabled. They expected me not to try, not to accomplish and not to succeed. That map was tossed out long ago. I have followed my own path as a person, a woman, who happens to have a physical disability. If following my ambitions, my passions, my dreams and helping people along the way, in spite of this disability, is misbehaving, then I am going to continue misbehaving! Thank you.

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