Ms. Wheelchair New Mexico fights for a cure for ALS | KOB 4
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Ms. Wheelchair New Mexico fights for a cure for ALS

Morgan Aguilar
July 12, 2018 06:31 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - This weekend, the first-ever Ms. Wheelchair New Mexico USA will head to Ohio to compete for the national title.

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There are more than 4,600 pageants around the world, but there are only two for women with disabilities. Ms. Wheelchair USA has been around for 22 years, and this is the first time a contestant from New Mexico will compete.

“I'm nervous and excited all at the same time,” said Yvette Wilson, who was crowned Ms. Wheelchair New Mexico USA in May.

Wilson was diagnosed with ALS nearly 3 years ago. It started with her legs, and she started using a wheelchair about 2 years ago. She says the disease progresses every day.

“My voice is going and as the day progresses my voice will weaken to the point that I can't talk anymore,” said Wilson.

Her husband retired to take care of her full-time.  

"He's had to google to learn how to Youtube how to do my hair,” said Wilson.

She says she had a choice to make when she was diagnosed. She could either sit back and accept it, or step up and fight.

“I'd rather be an advocate,” said Wilson. “I wanted to fight for change and help fight for a cure.”

She started writing and blogging about ALS, and eventually someone mentioned that she should run for the Ms. Wheelchair USA competition. She applied, and won. On Saturday she heads to Ohio to compete for the national title.

“I'm glad there's no swimsuit in the competition,” said Wilson.

There isn’t a swimsuit portion, but there will be an evening gown and even a group dance routine.

"I'm hoping it's just with our arms,” joked Wilson.

Most importantly, it will be a huge opportunity to share her platform of spreading awareness about ALS.

“Too many people are familiar with the ice bucket but not what the ice bucket was for,” said Wilson.

The winner gets to bring their message to all 50 states. Everyone can help her win by voting for her online. It’s $5 to vote which also goes to a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities. Wilson is also encouraging everyone to the Walk to End ALS  at Isotopes Park on September 23rd. She isn’t wasting any time doing her part to help cure ALS.

“I don't like putting a timeline on how long I have,” said Wilson. “I like seeing just how many memories I can create.”

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Morgan Aguilar

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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