Sara Story, Denton Reporter
Skylar Conover, a senior at the University of North Texas is vying for the title of Ms. Wheelchair Texas and using her disability to inspire others.
A North Texas woman competing for Ms. Wheelchair Texas is using her disability to inspire others.
Skyler Conover, a senior at the University of North Texas, is an advocate for people with disabilities and is taking her passion to the state competition.
"I decided to do the pageant this year and go full force with it," she said. "It's something I want to do to empower myself more, to define who I am and to embrace myself."
She said she looks forward to people looking past her wheelchair, saying she is competing to share a message with others.
"We are all human," Conover said. "We all have our flaws. We all have mistakes. We are all different."
Those differences make us who we are, she said.
Conover has adjusted to a life that is much different than the one she knew growing up. In high school, she was diagnosed with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
"It was so life-changing, and it was hard to accept it," she said. "I didn't know who I was because I identified myself as a cheerleader."
Competitive cheerleading and dancing were Conover's life, but that all changed.
"My whole life just turned upside down," she said. "[I] didn't really know what to do. I had to stop doing cheerleading, stop dancing. It was hard for me to figure out where to go from here."
It's been a long journey, but Conover learned to face the adversity.
"The chair doesn't define me, and I will define myself," Conover said.