5 Inspiring People On Wheelchairs


Stephen Hawking

  • Stephen Hawking
  • Believed to be one of the most brilliant minds to ever live, Stephen Hawking was a scientist, a physicist to be exact, and had tremendous impact to science. His expertise was mainly in quantum and gravitational physics, and one of his biggest life’s work was the discovery of the Big Bang theory. Very early in his life, Hawking suffered from an extremely rare disease called Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is a form of neurodegenerative disease that diminishes nerve and muscle function over time. Despite his condition, he pursued his dream and ambition of becoming a world-renowned scientist and subsequently became the author of at least 15 books. Stephen Hawking lived till the age of 76, passing in early 2018, while he held the position of Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.

    Christopher Reeve

  • Christopher Reeve
  • The late Superman Christopher Reeve was possibly the most famous actor on a wheelchair. Reeve became wheelchair-bound when he met with an unfortunate fall while riding his horse during an equestrian competition, causing him to break his neck and suffer from a damaged spinal cord, consequently rendering him a quadriplegic. Reeve’s life changed completely from the injury, but that did not break his spirit. Together with his late wife Dana, they founded the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, and Christopher became a vocal activist for spinal cord injury research, and became the public face for such injuries. The foundation continues to fund and provide grants for research with regard to spinal cord injury.
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Frida Kahlo was a world-famous artist - a painter of portraits and art inspired by nature and the artifacts of Mexico. Born in Mexico in 1907, she was diagnosed at birth with Spina Bifida, and later contracted polio at the age of 6. Even with her limitations, Frida was determined to live life to the fullest. She even participated in sports including boxing, and developed a very early liking to art. However, when she was about to turn 18, she met with a tragic accident that changed her life forever. She suffered from multiple broken bones and damaged organs, and had to undergo 32 surgeries. In spite of all the suffering, Frida recollected herself and decided to pursue the possibility of becoming an artist. In fact, a lot of her work was inspired by her suffering. Her art inspired progressiveness within society, especially with regard to gender, race, and class. The house she grew up and died in called La Casa Azul has now been transformed into a public museum. 

    Daryl Mitchell

  • Daryl Mitchell
  • Daryl Mitchell is an American actor, known for his roles on TV shows NCIS: New Orleans, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Fear the Walking Dead, and Ed. Mitchell suffers from paraplegia, as a result of a motorcycle accident he met in 2001, where he lost control of his bike and crashed. Determined to resume acting, he returned to acting within a year of his accident, and has since starred in many TV shows and movies, including all of the series mentioned above. Mitchell is also an ambassador for the Christopher and Dana Foundation, becoming the public image for minorities who also suffer from spinal cord injuries. 
  • Franklin D Roosevelt
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • The 32nd President of the United State - Franklin D. Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio at the age of 39. He lost his ability to walk on his own, but still became the president 12 years later. Not only did he become president, he was the only person to ever be elected as president four times in the USA’s presidential history. He was also president at time of the Pearl Harbor attack, and led the USA’s participation in World War II.