About the Founder - Izabella Davis
At the age of two I collapsed while playing outside. Everything from my hips down ceased to function and paralysis set in. After years of intense physical therapy and good fortune I regained partial use of my legs. Today, my legs function the best they ever will, I use specialized orthotics and have regular surgery but the worst of it has passed. Growing up with a physical disability I have experienced the detrimental effects it can have on self-esteem.
Throughout elementary school I took my disability in stride. I never bothered to hide my orthotics, I wasn’t sheepish about the casts, walkers, wheelchairs and scars. I wore them indifferently, like an arm or leg. Once I entered Middle School the fundamental way in which I viewed myself dramatically changed. Everyday I stressed over how I could wear a socially acceptable outfit while also ensuring no trace of my disability was visible. I retreated within myself as a safety mechanism. Questions about my limp or curiosity about a recent surgery surfaced my self doubts, the ones I was trying in vain to disguise.
However painful my formative years were, I now see them as a gift. Now that I have reached a plateau in my recovery, I look toward the younger generation of disabled teens and am driven to ensure they never experience similar insecurities - no teenager should ever feels like they have to hide who they are just because of a superficial difference. I want them to learn that their physical disability doesn’t detract from who they are, rather enhances their strength of character and perseverance.