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Miss Wheelchair Indiana Advocates for Change

A Fort Wayne woman earns the 2014 title of Miss Wheelchair Indiana.
The 2014 Miss Wheelchair Indiana title goes to, Ruth Smith.

"My parents taught me that can’t wasn’t a word and when people tell me I can’t do something I’m like really, let me show you," said Smith.

Smith has faced several challenges growing up. She was born a healthy baby, but it wasn’t too long before that began to change.

"I had spinal bacterial meningitis when I was a year old, so it caused the blood circulating through my body to stop and so my body started to die. I was dying, literally," she said. "To stop the infection, they had to amputate my legs my fingers my nose my lower eyelids."

Smith lives an independent lifestyle without many body parts others couldn’t imagine not having. She cooks and cleans and even drives. Most of all, she uses her title to inspire.

"I just want people to not give up and think that they can’t do something, you just have to try," said Smith.

Smith has dedicated her life to be an advocate for others who face challenges.

"Disabilities aren’t a disadvantage. It’s about being creative and how do I get around this and do it differently."

Her Machelor's in Child Development and soon to be Masters from the University of Saint Francis will take her even further with her advocacy work.

"I’m just about done and I’m excited to hopefully get my practice one of these days then to continue and help people and encourage people," said Smith.

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