I Can Do More - Meldip (Mel) has always believed that if there is a wheel, there is a way.
She was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 at 4 years old and needed a wheelchair to be mobile at 12 years old. Sounds like a challenge? It was. But Mel has learned to see her wheelchair as a helpful companion rather than a limitation.
Mel wants to inspire people, wheelchair-bound or not, to keep moving forward in life. For her, everyone is on a journey and there may be occasional humps to overcome. “God gives the toughest battles to his strongest soldiers,” she shares. Definitely, Mel is one of those courageous fighters.
She draws inspiration from her family who motivates her to be her best. However, being a wheelchair-dependent person, she doesn’t just receive, but provides support too. “I am the most resourceful in my home. Whenever anyone needs to get things done they come to me,” she quips.
Her journey to use her voice for good started when she attended a camp for the differently challenged when she was younger. There was an obstacle course they had to complete - getting across a room which was filled with ropes and without touching them. “Each group had volunteers to help them. As other groups started trying different methods, my group just sat there silently. Volunteers tried to get us to speak but none of us budged. Finally, I spoke and that inspired the others to speak up too. Together we brainstormed and attempted the obstacle course, and we got through on our first attempt! This left a lasting impression with me as sometimes it just takes one voice to get things done and that voice can be mine,” she explains.
Now, Mel uses her voice to bring a message of hope to young people. Building connections and engaging in conversations is what she enjoys doing as an advocate of inclusivity. She is grateful to be part of the Purple Parade movement this year as it provides a platform for her voice, and many other voices, to be heard.
Being on a wheelchair has kept her from walking and running, but it has not stopped Mel from living a meaningful life. After all, her wheelchair does not make her different; it actually empowers her to do more.
For more information about The Purple Parade or how you can support the movement, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.