South Carolina: A Convention to Remember

The start of 2014 for the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association has been “crazy” busy with planning for this month’s Wheeling In New Directions (WIND ) conference. Between lining up vendors, speakers, sessions and registrants, there is a seemingly never-ending stream of work to be done before the all-day event May 10. Thankfully, any time chapter executive director Diane Epperly, or any of the other event planners, start to feel overwhelmed, they can look back to the hugely successful 2012 conference for countless reminders of why all the hard work is worth it.

W.I.NThe event that stands out for Epperly happened at a local department store when the models for the conference’s wheelchair fashion show were picking outfits. A longtime chapter member who had given up on high fashion post-injury had her eyes opened and her world expanded.

“She picked out this really sparkly, glittery top and every time I’ve seen this woman the only thing she ever wore was tennis shoes,” says Epperly. “So I said to her, you cannot wear tennis shoes with that glittery top. It’s not gonna work.” One of the other models helped the woman pick out some “really cute” shoes. “It was like this light bulb went off. She had just given up trying to find cute, attractive shoes,” says Epperly. “That’s the whole thing that WIND is trying to do — letting you see what is still possible, showing you different ways you can do the things you want to do.”