5 Incredibly Smart, Talented, And Famous People Who Rocked (And Rolled ) A Wheelchair

No matter what type or severity, living with a disability can be overwhelming. From blindness to muscular disorders, it is easy to see the emotional and physical strains of completing daily tasks with a disability. Unfortunately, loss of mobility makes completing regular tasks almost impossible. If you are one of the 2.2 million people using wheelchairs for daily life,  you are most likely familiar with the stress. Of course, living with a disability and relying on a mobility aid does not have to be so daunting. With this list of 5 smart, talented, and famous individuals, you will see the possibility of a successful life in a wheelchair.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

FDR was a favorite president due to his pleasant personality and strong will. However, his polio diagnosis is what many people remember most. Contracting the disease after drinking water from a campground, FDR became paralyzed from the waist down.

He led the nation successfully through the attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler's declaration of war on America. Franklin Delano Roosevelt brought the nation through World War II and he did it all from his wheelchair.  

Stephen Hawking

You may contribute the success of the movie, The Theory of Everything, to Stephen Hawking's recent popularity. However, Hawking was smart, talented, and wheelchair-bound before the movie received its Oscar for Best Picture.

A talented physicist who was able to prove Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, Stephen Hawking became a world leader in his field. Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in his 20s and required mobility and speech aids for most of his life. ALS affected Hawking physically, but he never let the disease affect his mind.

Today, Stephen Hawking continues to learn and educate others while depending on a motorized wheelchair with computerized speech controls.

Christopher Reeve

Famous for playing Superman and other characters on film, many people considered Christopher Reeve a favorite actor.

Unfortunately, a horse-riding accident injured Reeve's spinal cord, resulting in quadriplegia. Relying on a sip and puff technology, Reeve blew air through a straw to move his motorized wheelchair. Living as a quadriplegic is an enormous lifestyle change, but Reeve managed a successful life devoted to others with spinal cord injuries.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Organization has raised $80 million for spinal cord injury research. Considering his role in medical research, Christopher Reeve will always be a Superman.

Frida Kahlo

Anyone can brush some paint onto a canvas, but very few are able to paint with exceptional talent like Frida Kahlo.

After a serious bus accident, Kahlo used painting as a way to cope with the stress and pain of her injury. While she did recover, she contracted polio and lost the majority of her mobility. Despite the pain of this loss, Kahlo used her disability to her advantage and created numerous portraits of her wheelchair-bound self.

Known as one of the greatest artists of all time, Frida Kahlo never let her disability affect her creativity.

Michael Graves

You may not be able to imagine an architect, credited for designing thousands of beautiful buildings and unique products, paralyzed from the chest down. However, Michael Graves is a reality.

Left paralyzed after a viral infection, Graves had two choices. He could retire and live a quiet, sad life or he could continue his love of design. Fortunately, Michael Graves followed his passion.

Credited as one of the world's most prominent architects and designers, Grave designed hospitals and rehab facilities for patients like himself, hotels, and even tea kettles and home décor.

Michael Grave's love and talent for design continued even after his disability.

Disabilities are frightening, but it is important to know that a fulfilling, successful life is possible. Buying a wheelchair doesn't have to be a bad experience when you take inspiration from these smart, talented, famous individuals.

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