Iowa has another spokeswoman for people with disabilities, as a new Ms. Wheelchair Iowa was crowned last weekend in Iowa City. Luvoria Sanders was born with cerebral palsy and says she wasn’t expected to live, let alone live a productive life, but the 35-year-old works on the sales floor of Goodwill Industries in her native Cedar Rapids and lives alone — independently.
She says winning the Ms. Wheelchair Iowa title is a dream come true: "In spite of my disability, I am a real go-getter." She’ll represent Iowa at the national competition, Ms. Wheelchair America, in Washington D.C. in July. She says winning the title of Ms. Wheelchair Iowa is a huge accomplishment.
Sanders says: "It’s something that I have dreamed about and now that the reality is here, it’s kind of hard to wrap my brain around but I know that I will represent Iowa in the best way that I can." Sanders’ platform focuses on a disparity in transportation costs, as the wheelchair lift bus in Cedar Rapids costs two-dollars a ride versus regular city buses for 50-cents.
As a girl, Sanders says she was the top Girl Scout cookie seller in her non-disabled troop. One of her goals is becoming a foster parent, saying "children are my heart." She says her mother taught her to never feel sorry for herself and that "you’re only as disabled as you let yourself be."