The 28-year-old woman chosen as Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina in an Asheville ceremony in April was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair America.
Erika Bogan of Concord, N.C., won the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant held Aug. 29 in Rapid City, S.D. Contestants from 26 states and the District of Columbia gathered for rounds of interviews and speeches in front of judges and audience members to compete for the honor.
“I was shocked,” Bogan told Xpress in a recent telephone interview. “It was altogether an amazing experience.”
Bogan says she’ll use her title to continue to spread “show the world — both disabled and able-bodied — that we can do anything. Our wheelchairs don’t have to put a limitation on our lives.”
Bogan is living proof of her personal motto that “anything is possible.” The single mother of three was paralyzed from the waist down in a 2002 car wreck. Today, she cares for her children and works at a medical home health and mobility business.
Brandee Ponder of Weaverville was the reigning Miss Wheel Chair North Carolina before she passed the crown to Bogan this spring in the Asheville event. Ponder says Bogan’s win “is absolutely unbelievable.” Ponder says part of Bogan’s duties will also include working toward having a Miss Wheelchair program in all 50 states, a goal she would like to see accomplished to help spread awareness and break down stereotypes.
Click on the photo above to see an audio slideshow of the pageant held in Asheville back in April.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor