SCI Superstar: Angela Irick

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It takes a lot of gusto to step out in the world the way Angela Irick has. A C1-2 quadriplegic since 1996, she’s been bound and determined not to let her paralysis hold her back from her dreams. While it’s certainly not easy navigating the world with an injury as high as hers, that hasn’t stopped her.

As the founder of Heels with Wheels, an online fashion store for women with disabilities and a dedicated committee member for Ms. Wheelchair Texas, Angela is staying true to what she loves. Read on for Angela Irick’s awesome story of moving on and doing it with style.

Why she’s fearless

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Angela was your typical fun-loving Southern girl. She loved dressing up, feeling pretty and was a big time social bug. But when her injury occurred when she was just 14, a minor car accident that resulted in a broken neck, her entire life was reset.  She spent the first year post-injury in the hospital, but she was able to shock her doctors by weaning herself off the ventilator, and that not just the beginning.

She was able to regain the ability to speak and eat again on her own as well, despite what doctors expected. Yes she made it work. After a year in the hospital, she finally returned home and was home schooled the first couple of years upon returning. But amazingly, she was able to graduate with her high school class in 2000.

After high school, Angela – realizing the difficulties it would take to go to college in person (her mother has been their caregivers since your injury) – she enrolled in online writing courses, which she did for two years. And while in school, she snagged the job as Director of Communications for Skylar magazine, an online fashion magazine.

Her work with Skylar magazine, as well as her frustrations over the fashion options in general for women with disabilities, inspired her to make the change in her career, and that was launching Heels with Wheels in 2010, a company/site that designs and sells clothing made especially for women who use wheelchairs.

From pretty sleepwear and easy-to-put-on dresses for any occasion to super cute jackets and jeans, Heels with Wheels has some beautiful stuff. She even put on an fashion show for the site a couple of years ago down in Houston. Check out her clothing site here

A dedicated writer, Angela is also a published author of children’s books. Her books aim to teach children we are beautiful no matter and that people with disabilities deserve to be integrated. Got to love that message. She’s published two books so far: “Sampson to the Rescue” and “Ashley Wins the First Day of School.” Check them out on Amazon

What’s next?

The Ms. Wheelchair Texas pageant is another passion of Angela’s that’s cropped up in recent years. She ran as a contestant in 2012 and she’s an active committee member as well as an official ambassador for the pageant, helping out with the pageant whenever she can, and even assisting contestants with raising money for their entry fees.

Staying physically active is another big part of an Angela’s life, and she’s a fervent believer it’s never too late to get more return. In 2012, she returned to PT after a nearly 16 year hiatus, and she saw some hand and triceps function come back. Also earlier this year she went diving with the adapted diving organization Diveheart off the coast of Texas. And she’s also trying to raise money go skiing in Montana, another activity on her bucket list. Can you say no fear?

You can’t help but love Angela. Passionate about helping others, dedicated to her company and on top of that she’s multi-talented, from designing clothes to writing children’s books, Angela shows that following your bliss post-injury is always the smart thing to do.

Check out her site – Heels with Wheels

Have you met Angela? How has she helped you?

Check out her videos!

Heels with Wheels Be Fashion-ABLE Gala in Houston, TX

Angela returning to PT 16 years post-injury

Heels with Wheels photoshoot featuring Angela and other models

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