Tag Archives: model in a wheelchair

SCI Superstar: Alexandra Santibanez

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They say getting injured at a younger age makes it easier transition-wise, and Alexandra Santibanez certainly proves this is the case. A fashion model hailing from Miami, Florida and a motivational speaker and advocate for disability awareness, her injury at the age of five has barely slowed her down.

But what we especially love about Alexandra is her sense of style. Not only is she a model, but she went on to receive her bachelor’s in a field perfectly suited for the fashion industry, making sure she’s armed and ready for the future.

Brilliantly smart and the most fashionable woman on four wheels in South Florida, this is the outstanding story of Alexandra Santibanez.

Why she’s fearless

For Alexandra, life would have been completely “normal,” at least body-wise, had she not been in a fated car accident at the age of five. A woman in another car ran a red light, and she and her mom were hit. Both Alexandra and her mother had to be airlifted to the hospital after sustaining serious injuries, and when they arrived Alexandra’s spinal cord injury was not detected right away.

It took her mother’s keen sense of “something isn’t quite right with this child” to flip over Alexandra after seeing her pale face, and discovering a huge bump on her back; which ended up being a blood mass over her spinal cord at the T3 level. Alexandra was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, and spent the next half year in the hospital, including her sixth birthday, completing the necessary rehabilitation for her age and level.

After returning home, Alexandra’s love of fashion grew over the years, and it eventually became something she was exceptionally good at. So good, that after graduating from high school, she went on to school to study for a degree in fashion merchandising.

Modeling however wasn’t always something Alexandra had her eyes on. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she was hired as a project manager for Miami’s biggest fashion magazine – Fashion & Entertainment Magazine – where she worked for two years. Afterwards, needing a breather from the tight deadlines and schedule, she decided if it was finally time to develop her career as a model.

What’s she up to now?

Alexandra first ran in a few local beauty pageants; no disabled pageants either. She won Ms. Photogenic and third runner up in the Ms. Cuba/American beauty pageant.  Next, she wanted to break into the disability modeling scene, and she targeted Colours Wheelchairs, a cool company that makes custom wheelchairs to fit the personality of whoever is in it.

After hobnobbing with Colours representatives at the Abilities Expo, she was asked by the VP of Colours a month later to be their new spokesperson, and she was on cloud nine. In addition to representing Colours, she’s also a model for purse-maker Candy Wooley, a designer from Miami, and she does modeling for automotive shows.

Most recently in fact, Alexandra sported her rockin’ pin-up look for the traveling DUB Show over the weekend in Miami, showing the world that even a girl with paralysis can look drop dead gorgeous on the hood of a car.

You go Alexandra. You’re changing the world with every photo you take, and we love you for it.

How has Alexandra inspired you?

Visit Alexandra’s official website

– Like her on Facebook: Alexandra Santibanez

– View more photos: Alexandra1818 on Instagram

Watch her video!

Alexandra Santibanez featured on Univision Primer Impacto

SCI Superstar: Tiphany Adams

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A wild child in her teens – now a zen TV star, Tiphany Adams is a drop-dead gorgeous paraplegic who’s been aiming to change the world since being injured in a car accident at the age of 17. She wants to change the way the way the world looks at people with disabilities and she wants to use media to make that happen.

Why she’s fearless

Tiphany’s wish was answered when she was cast on the groundbreaking reality show Push Girls last year, the first and only reality show to show the real lives of wheelchair-users. A California native with a sunshine personality made for the camera, Tiphany was born for this kinda thing, and she’s carrying the torch amazingly well, helping to represent people with SCI.

After her injury, she eventually moved from her small town of Lodi to LA, where she met Angela Rockwood, and they became roommates. Angela is well connected in the entertainment industry and was able to use her sway to make Push Girls a reality. Tiphany, along with Angela and two other lovely ladies, Mia and Auti, are also on the show, and it’s definitely helping to change the belief of what’s possible when you have a spinal cord injury. It’s not all doom and gloom. Tiphany is helping to spread this message.

And on the show, Tiphany made an even bigger impact when she came out of the closet. She dated a woman for several months and the show showed many aspects of their relationship. Tiphany is great – she has no problem opening up about her personal life, including her sexuality, and this is helping to erase stereotypes left and right. It’s not easy putting yourself out there when you’re paralyzed, but Tiphany is doing it.

She’s also been featured in several LGBT magazines, wheeled many red carpet since the show’s debut, is a model and has non-reality TV show acting aspirations too. Check out her ModelMayhem profile

What’s next?

With Season Two of Push Girls only a few months away (look for it in June), she and the other ladies are busy filming some of the last episodes of the season. When Tiphany is not playing reality show star, she loves traveling home to see her nephews; a family girl at heart, and her other passion lies is fitness. Weight lifting, eating healthy, yoga, pole-dancing (yes she’s figured it out), Tiphany’s inspires all of us wheelers to get in better shape (be it good or annoying haha)

Is Tiphany the bubbliest paraplegic on the planet? Possibly. But what’s not to love about that? The world needs more positive souls like hers. There is a great power that lies in television (each time an episodes airs, minds are changed), and Tiphany is helping to do her part.

What’s your favorite Tiphany Adams moment on Push Girls? Would you be on a reality show?

Follow Tiphany Adams on Twitter

Tiphany Adams’s Push Girls bio

Watch the videos!

Tiphany Adams talks about her car accident on Push Girls

Tiphany Adams on the red carpet at the Juke Joint Awards

Tiphany Adams and Angela interviewed for Extra TV

Tiphany Adams’s video bio for Push Girls