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Ms. Wheelchair California shares message of empowerment

Deborah Vick says when you face adversity, the first step is facing your fear.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — An inspiring South Bay woman is sharing her message of empowerment on a national stage. In this Zevely Zone, I traveled to Eastlake to meet Ms. Wheelchair California

After a childhood filled with health challenges, Deborah Vick never saw the diagnosis on August 6, 2016 coming. 

"So, 2016, that is still a day I am in the process of working through that was the day I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis," said Deborah. The 47-year-old told me about six years ago, she woke up with slurred speech and double vision. "Looked like I had a stroke," said Deborah who knew it might have been time to reassess life's biggest dreams.

Credit: Deborah Vick

"It was to run for the President of the United States. I wanted to run a successful campaign for the President of the United States and that has been my dream since I was 14 or 15 years old," said Deborah who is married to her college sweetheart, Karate. She has two boys and a service dog named Peeta. "He is my best buddy. Aren't you? Yes, I know," she said while petting Peeta.  

Credit: Deborah Vick

Deborah also suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which causes her bones to slip out of joint. "I've had three neck surgeries, at least two back surgeries, probably about five or six pump surgeries," said Deborah. When adversity strikes, she suggests the first step is facing your fear. She was worried about the unknown, being a bad mom, and a bad wife. 

"Yeah, I still am, it doesn't go away," said Deborah. "Disabilities are always a grieving process, especially when you have a progressive because you know what you were and where you are at. You can choose to be angry, mad and upset or you can choose to live life with a positive mindset and I choose every day to live in a positive mindset."

Credit: CBS 8

Which may explain why Deborah was crowned Ms. Wheelchair California 2022. She is now working on her queen wave. "I am trying, my friends are giving me tips on the elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist and kiss, ha, ha, ha," laughed Deborah. Next up, Deborah travels to Ohio for the national competition. How does Ms. Wheelchair USA sound? "It sounds amazing it really does," said Deborah.  

Sharing her message of empowerment is victory in itself.  "Keep rolling forward, keep moving forward. The most important thing is to not give up," said Deborah.

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Even if you don't find yourself in a wheelchair, Deborah says you can stand up to anything. We should mention, throughout our interview, Deborah found it quite funny, she received a plasma infusion. "Humor is part of my coping mechanism," laughed Deborah.  

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Deborah Vick is dedicated to serving her family, community and those battling chronic illnesses, to the best of her abilities. She has earned her BA in Political Science, M.Ed. in Higher Education with a focus on Diversity Inclusion and continues to pursue the completion of her law degree.

Deborah travels to Ohio this July to compete in the Ms. Wheelchair USA contest.

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