Three HSPers making news

Pushing boundaries in the UK and the US


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UK teen Lily Rice


Lily Rice, whom it is hard to believe is just 14, has spastic paraplegia and got our attention this time last year doing a backflip off a ramp in her wheelchair – just the second female in the world to achieve the feat.


She gained prominence for the achievement in newspapers, on TV, in a music video and on social media.


Now, with a maturity and vision beyond her years, the Welsh teenager has been given a BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Award for her outstanding dedication to others through helping children like her access her sport, wheelchair motorcross or WCMX.


SOURCE: Wheelchair backflipping teen among BBC R1 award winners

Read the full article:

17 October 2018



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US HSPer Kyann Flint competes in Miss Washington USA pageant


Kyann Flint isn’t letting her disability get in the way of competing in the Miss Washington USA pageant. By competing, she hopes to show the world people with disabilities can do anything they set their minds to.


An HSP community member from the US, brought this news story to our attention and suggested we publish it. Lauren said “First I was going to say ‘someone with HSP in a beauty pageant?’ but I watched the video and I like it. She seems very cool and brave and beautiful!” (Click the link below for the VIDEO)


Forty-five minutes before the Miss Washington USA pageant takes the stage, dozens of young women are shoulder-to-shoulder at the mirrors lining the dressing room at the Highline Performing Arts Center in Burien. Holding mascara wands and big-barreled curling irons, they sing along to music, apply powder and lip gloss, and chat about the choreography of their group dance number.


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It’s easy to miss the one young woman in the middle of the room, alone at the corner of a table piled high with handbags and sweaters, applying make-up using only the small mirror on her compact.

“I’m actually legally blind so I don’t look in the mirror when I do my make-up,” said Kyann Flint.

The 26-year-old from Blaine applies her foundation and concealer by feeling her face and relies on her mom, Jan, to help with trickier things like eyeliner.

But that’s not Kyann’s greatest challenge competing for the title of Miss Washington USA 2019. She is the first contestant to compete anywhere in the Northwest in a Miss USA pageant in a wheelchair.

“I love to do things that defy the definition of disability,” said Kyann. “I want to show the world that those of us with disabilities can be confidently beautiful as well. Right now, when you see disability and when you hear disability, the typical thought is not beauty. To me, my disability is beautiful, and I want other people to see that too.”

Pageant Co-Executive Producer Maureen Francisco said Kyann has raised the bar for Miss Washington USA.

“Kyann is telling people you don’t have to be the norm of what society said is a beauty queen. You can be you and embrace you and love you,” said Francisco. “She’s a role model to so many people.”

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The daughter of a football coach and a former teacher, Kyann has been attracted to glitz and glamour from an early age.

“She’s always been a princess from the time she was a little girl,” said mom Jan Flint.

Jan bristles when asked if she’s a pageant mom. She calls herself a tomboy, but said pageants make sense for her daughter, who loves shoes, clothes and make-up.

“She knows what she wants to do, and we just encourage her,” Jan said.

Kyann, the 2017 Miss Wheelchair Washington, did not advance to the semi-final field of 16 women. Kyann said she learned a lot during this year’s pageant, and she hopes to compete again next year.

“I’m using this as a platform,” she said. “Showing the world and educating the world that those of us with disabilities can do things they set their minds to is a win in and of itself. If I can show that to one person, that would be a victory to me.”


SOURCE: K5 News, November 5, 2018,

Blaine woman first to compete in Miss Washington USA pageant in wheelchair

Author: Amanda Grace

See full article and VIDEO here:



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UK HSPer Mick Turner competes in wheelchair races


Muscle wasting condition doesn’t define Penwortham fitness fanatic Mick Turner, as he speaks about his determination to compete in events in his wheelchair.


The 58-year-old from Penwortham has spastic paraplegia and now relies on a manual wheelchair. This is a far cry from his younger years, where, as a member of Red Rose Runners, he competed in many races and did the People’s Marathon in Birmingham. But now, thanks to his new set of wheels, he has rejoined the group and takes part in wheelchair-friendly races.


Mick says: “I have had this all my life. Over the past 10 years it is gradually getting worse and I can’t go running, but now I have got myself a wheelchair, it has given me a new lease of life and I can go a longer distance. I used to be a keen runner, three or four times a week and I entered a lot of races. I have even done a marathon in the early 1980s. I just love it and enjoy getting out and about. It gives me a buzz, especially doing races and that was one thing I missed. My partner, Tracy Young, is also into running and now we can train together which is great. I have to say that people are very friendly and obliging when they see me out. A lot of people will say hello and encourage me and some will ask me if I need any help, especially up any hills. Motorists are also good – drivers will let me pass and cross the road. This wheelchair has changed my life. I can now get out there and do so much more”.


SOURCE: Lancashire Post, Friday 16 November 2018 by Natalie Walker

Spastic paraplegia will not hold back Penwortham Red Rose Runner from competing

Read full article here:







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