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Updated: October 26, 2006


Denise Woodilla

Ms. Wheelchair Connecticut 2006

My name is Denise Woodilla. I am from the state of Connecticut and the first one nominated as Ms Wheelchair CT ever in my state.

Back in February 2006, I was officially nominated Ms Wheelchair CT. I had been asked to honor CT as an independent delegate for this wonderful pageant. Connecticut has never had a delegate in the Ms Wheelchair America pageant until now. I was in total shock!

I am 42 years old and born with "Spina Bifida". I was able to walk until the age of 18 years old, (when it became too difficult for me to walk). I have been using a scooter and a manual chair for easier mobility many years now. I am more independent on my own. I grew up in an able-bodied world all of my life. I adapted very well and still do. I am the oldest of 3. I have 2 younger brothers, Scott (40), Russ (37). My mom Jean is a massage therapist in Naples, FL. My dad is retired and lives in Woburn, MA with his second wife, Mary.

When I turned 16, I became very ill. In short, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. I am the only one in in my family who has this disease AND Spina Bifida. I haven't met anyone yet who has/have both problems. But, being me, I just have learned to deal with it and keep on going! Nothing will stop me from being independent!

In 1986, I moved to an Independent Living Village, called "New Horizons Village", in Unionville, CT. It's the first one of it's kind in the US. I was one of the first to move in. Two years later, I went for a job interview (because I knew that I needed to pay MY bills), I got a job interview with a small publishing company called, "InSight Media". They hired me on the spot! The company has changed names over the years, and finally about 2 1/2 years ago, The company was finally bought by one of the largest medical computer company's in the US, "WEBMD", and I'm still with them!

As Ms Wheelchair CT, I will do as much as I can to promote independence among young adults who are finally realizing that they can do anything they want with their lives. Disabled people need not feel defeated by their own insecurities as well as federal and state government agencies trying to hold our lives against us just for our medical issues. Our lives are not about medical issues. It's about living as a human being. It also involves us as emotional, social and psychological human beings. We have the same needs, wants and desires just like every one else.

I have been and always will be independent! It's who I am, I am very proud of who I am and who I've become. I want to share that with the rest of the world! Every disabled person has value in life and has a right to be valued as a human being first, no matter what!

I am very anxious to meet everyone in Little Rock


Denise Woodilla

Ms Wheelchair Connecticut  






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