A Jonseville resident has been crowned Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina-America and hopes to raise money so she can take her efforts to July nationals held in Houston, Texas.
Ashley Macemore received the state crown in a competition held on April 6 in Asheville, N.C., but the $2,500 price tag is cash she doesn’t have, says Macemore.
“I feel that this is the beginning of raising awareness to my medical condition, and I’ve never asked for anything in my life,” she said. “I just feel that getting to nationals and competing in it can put us on the map and change the lives of so many people living just like me,” said Macemore.
The Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina-America Program is a division of the Ms. Wheelchair America program, a disability advocacy program which seeks to select the most articulate and accomplished spokeswoman to represent persons with disabilities in the state of North Carolina and at the national level.
According to organizers, the program is a symbol of the dignity and productiveness of persons living with disabilities. Ms. Wheelchair NC-America assumes responsibility for the ongoing effort to eliminate stereotypical and physical barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from assuming their right place in society.
The recent victory has gotten the attention of Jownsville town Manager Scott Buffkin, who said he was amazed and delighted that the winner was a local person.
“Jonesville invites Ms. Macemore to Town Hall on May 13, which will be our next official town meeting,” said Buffkin. We will honor Ms. Wheelchair NC-America, and we stand in support of her advocacy. It’s even more special knowing she’s one of us.”
Macemore was born in Elkin and raised in Wilkes County. At age 14, she was taken from her family and put into foster care, where she was placed in Crossnore School, Inc., located in Avery County, where she lived until she was 20. At 23 and independently living in Jonesville, Macemore said she’s finally home.
At 16 Ashley was diagnosed with Friedreich Ataxia (FA), a progressive, neurological, and debilitating disease. Manifestations include the loss of balance and coordination that can affect many other aspects within the body.
As an advocate, Ashley is not afraid to talk with others about FA.
“I have a disability. I don’t need to be treated differently. I’m human, and I accept my responsibility. I just can’t do what most people can do with two feet,” said Macemore. “Anything that people can do to help contribute to going to nationals is greatly appreciated. I know that $2,500 is a lot of money, but its for two people to go there. Every contestant has a caretaker. I can’t travel by myself because of my condition. I don’t want to just go there. I want to win it for North Carolina.”
An online site has been created to assist Macemore in raising the needed funds. Donations are accepted by www.giveforward.com. Search ‘Macemore’ at the homepage to redirect to Macemore’s page.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.