National Mobility Awareness Month Partners:

Cheyenne Hill

Greenback, TN

Entry Photo for Cheyenne Hill - Greenback, TN

As a friend and mother looking in through the window of Christal Hill’s life, I can never fully grasp all of it. I am both saddened and inspired by what I see. A daughter, a beautiful princess that I call “shiny” and her mother, the queen that no one sees. Both so full of life, love, and beauty. Both so full of the things we look for in the best of humanity. All of those things exists in them and yet, some of life’s simplest pleasures pass them by.
Cheyenne came into the world three months early. She rode in on a bright beam of light and she has not stopped shining since. The result of her very early arrival was Cerebral Palsy. Sixteen years later, she is a beautiful and energetic adolescent. Cheyenne is also a quadriplegic. She strives daily to get past the boundaries that mental handicaps and a wheelchair build around her.
Cheyenne’s transportation needs are many. The only handicap-accessible van they can access is barely operational. It is heart-breaking to see them excluded from beautiful experiences in life. The gift of this van would mean freedom from four walls for Cheyenne and Christal. It would add more color and depth to their lives. Cheyenne could get to know our mountains and rivers. Christal could take her daughter to the zoo or out to eat. There would be no scrambling for safe transportation to doctors’ appointments for Cheyenne’s care.
Cerebral Palsy may keep Cheyenne from walking, talking, and other abilities, but it does not define her. She is a constant source of strength and perseverance. She struggles to communicate, but she puts in the effort with a smile on her face. She has the beautiful laugh of someone who truly appreciates life. Her heroism lies in her inability to see her own struggles. To Cheyenne, it is just another day to live life, be happy, and brighten everyone’s day. To her mother, it’s another opportunity to not just make her daughter’s life good, but to make it better. This makes them both my nominees for community hometown heroes.