A mother of two from the Tama County town of Toledo was crowned the new Ms. Wheelchair Iowa over the weekend. 32-year-old Ami Dark was stricken with a staph infection a decade ago that left her paralyzed from the chest down. Dark was in a coma for six weeks and says it was very scary for her family but that she’s “healthy and happy now and I never thought I’d see myself at this place ten years ago but it’s a great place to be.” She’s spend the next year as a spokesperson for the -abilities- of people in wheelchairs. Dark says she looks forward to the next year of taking her message into Iowa schools, veterans halls and the state capitol, in her words, that people in wheelchairs are very able, normal people who “happen to be sitting down.” She says she’d like to talk to returning veterans form Iraq, and with kids in schools about being different. Dark will represent Iowa in the national event, Ms. Wheelchair America, to be held in Richmond, Virginia, in July.
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