National Mobility Awareness Month Partners:


Carli Ziegler

Hellertown, PA

Entry Photo for Carli Ziegler - Hellertown, PA

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles” (Christopher Reeve). It is my belief that heroes come in all ages, sizes and genders. My daughter, Carli Ziegler, although only sixteen years old, exemplifies the epitome of a hero as described by Reeves. Caused by an injury occurring at birth as a result of oxygen deprivation, Carli has been wheelchair bound since early childhood. From this, she struggles with mobility on a daily basis. During her early childhood, Carli’s size proved advantageous, allowing transport to be much simpler. Today, her adult stature complicates the ease of mobility for herself and those who care for her. Carli is limited in participating in generic social excursions such as a trip to the store, mall, church, etc. in which her peers partake regularly. The limitation is primarily due to difficulties of having to lift her in and out of the vehicle as this is currently the only method of transport available. Needless to say, removing and inserting a power chair, weighing in excess of 220 lbs., from the van presents a challenge in and of itself. Her lack of mobility does not hinder her spirit, however. Carli will often work hours on homework due to dexterity issues, yet consistently achieves honor roll. She incessantly supports others’ involvement in athletics, despite only being able to dream of becoming a ballerina. Obtaining a wheelchair accessible vehicle will assist my goals in expanding Carli’s horizons, affording her the opportunity to develop into an independent, social member of society as she progresses into adulthood, in contrast to the inbound, introvert that her disability bestows upon so many like her. Carli wishes to someday institute a foundation in order to provide families, similar to her own, with necessary equipment that would in any other circumstance be unobtainable due to the exorbitant cost factor. Please help my daughter gain her independence and have the freedom to pursue her future endeavors. Every child deserves to feel as though they are important and that they, too, have a special gift to contribute to this world.