Few months ago Marcela came to England to visit and we had a photo shoot with Gunda Hafner and we also made a few videos to my youtube channel. She is one of the most prestigious ambassadors of Rewalk and I though it would be an interesting topic to talk with you guys here. Do you know what is Rewalk? If not please take a look at our video to know more about different ways that disabled people can walk.
I hope we could help and if you know some disabled people please send the video to them.
Sometimes the combination of being in a wheelchair and loving fashion can be a bit tricky, simply because not all clothing items are accommodating. Simple tasks can be extremely difficult when you’re wearing certain things, which can make shopping tremendously frustrating. Just imagine finding clothing that captures your heart but knowing it doesn’t suit wheelchair users!
So, to find a brand that produces awesome items that are also perfect for wheelchair users is so exciting. One that I’ve managed to discover is Caroline London UK. Back when I was at the London Organic event, they were there trying to give their brand some exposure. I instantly became fascinated by their vision going forward; it’s a completely unique idea. Since then, they send me their terrific items through the post for me to try out.
Essentially, their ethos is to allow people to mix and match, so you can design the look which you’ll love the most. But, the hallmark of their brand is a jump suit which utilizes a zipper mechanism down the middle. It’s split into two parts – the bottom half and the top half – which means you can mix and match between the two.
You can either keep the trouser aspect and switch out the top, or vice versa. In terms of being inclusive towards wheelchair users, the outfit is simple to adorn and allows you to unzip as and when you need to. For instance, during the winter months when the weather is freezing cold, you can go to the toilet without having to remove the whole outfit. It’s so convenient!
Moreover, for those that are severely disabled, such as individuals that are quadriplegic, it’s so much easier to get dressed when there’s a zipper straight down the middle. A wonderful fashion brand that creates outstanding items that look gorgeous, while priding themselves on being inclusive towards everyone at the same time is so refreshing.
Out of all the brands that I choose to represent, Caroline London UK is one of those that I have absolute belief in. I love the quality of their items and the flexibility in the way you select your outfit. Oh, and the range of choice is excellent too, because you’re empowered to play around with casual and luxury items, so you can source an outfit for any occasion.
I’d highly recommend checking out their brand, which you can do by heading to their website – carolinelondon.co.uk.
Here is the article from Adriana Chiari Magazine. It is in Portuguese but I will translate it and post here in case you don’t know the language. Here is the link for the full article in Portuguese. https://adrianachiarimagazine.net/blog/2018/8/2/resiliencia-por-samanta-bullock
Its a funny one as I am giving a talk about resilience in Brazil next month. Here is the link to the event: https://eduzz.com/curso/eEl5/.html?a=60762328
So I realise as everything about me is linked to this subject, so probably I am resilient and happy about that.
Meet the story of the athlete and model Samanta Bullock
"People see the wheelchair as limiting, but it is extremely liberating, because without it I could not get around"
Easy smile, genuine beauty and an enviable disposition to break the world; so is Samanta Bullock.
Gaucha, 39, fights daily for the inclusion of all deficiencies in sport and fashion.
At age 14 Samanta was the victim of a firearm accident and became paraplegic. For the girl who played tennis and began to take the first steps as a model, this might seem like a nightmare, but that was not what happened.
From an early age she was a class leader and captain of the handball team at school, and neither did the accident stop the girl, who has always been passionate about sports.
At the age of 19, Samanta went to Porto Alegre to attend the University of Odontology, but difficulties such as access to the site and the structure of the classrooms that were not adapted to the course did not give up.
"The wheelchair is a potentiator: if you are already a strong person, it will leave you even stronger, especially to run after your rights within society; if you are a weaker person, from the moment you are in a wheelchair you will think that your world ended there. "
She began to work in the Legislative Assembly of Rio
Grande do Sul, where she went through various areas andwas transferred to Brasília to work in the Federal Senate, which coincided with her treatment at Sarah Kubitcheck, where she did all the rehabilitation.
During the work in the Senate she got a special tennis project for the disable,started attending twice a week and from there he only left to compete representing Brazil in 3 world and Paralympic Games in 2007, where she won a silver medal in double with Rejane Candida against the United States.
In 2012, already living in England, participated in the opening of the Paralympics in London, where he made a presentation on a 4-meter-high sway pole with choreography packed with music by singer Rhianna; one more challenge against the limitation has been overcome.
With a life and stories of successes through sport, she now works in the Paralympics International Committee, Proud Paralympian program, assisting in the empowerment of Paralympic athletes, teaching lectures on sports values, career transition and preparing athletes for the life of a sportsman.
Since she started playing tennis, Samanta also began to be invited to take pictures as a model for sponsors, wheelchair factories, brands of clothes for wheelchair users, and at that moment realized that she could resume her modeling career that she had left behind .
Her first parade after the wheelchair went to a jeans brand in Goiânia, after that other work began to emerge; has already campaigned for major brands and had the opportunity to parade in Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Turkey and London.
She is the ambassador of Fashion Inclusivo, a program in Brazil that has more than 100 disabled models, from Models of Diversity, a fashion and beauty media company focused on any type of beauty, and Parallel London, the first inclusive race event in the world .
Her biggest accomplishment was parading at this year's London Fashion Week for Designer Louise Linderoth; the collection of jeans designed for wheelchairs made Samanta shine on the catwalk.
"Parading at London Fashion Week was the biggest thrill of my life, I waited 31 years for that moment."
For the future, Samanta plans a fashionable project in the area of accessibility and continue fighting for accessibility in all areas.
As someone that is frequently in front of a camera with a beaming smile, most people would assume that I’m happy 24/7. But, let me tell you, my life is far from perfect. No-one’s is. A smile in a picture can hide everything that is actually going on in your life, and how you portray yourself on Instagram doesn’t reflect the day-to-day.
You see, being disabled throws up a plethora of challenges. Chronic pain is a daily occurrence and some days are a lot harder than others. However, just because my life isn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean I don’t pretend like it is. The key to being happy is making the most out of life, regardless of the situation that you’re in.
That’s why despite all of the pain, discomfort and difficulty, I always remain optimistic. The beauty of adversity is that you have a unique opportunity to learn and grow. You’ll evolve as you gain new experience.
You can obtain an endless supply of happiness from within, you don’t need to rely on external sources and materialistic things.
We’re always in a position to smile and have fun, and there’s always hope that things can get better. Never, ever let difficult situations consume you, because the light at the end of the tunnel may be just around the corner. Living with chronic pain is far from easy, but my mind is in a healthy place which is why I’m content.
Of course, we can only do our best. Bad days are inevitable. But, positivity and optimism are a far better option than choosing self-pity and negativity. So, think about how you deal with tough scenarios…
I tend to value and appreciate everything that I do have, rather than worrying about all the things that I don’t have. I source inspiration from all those that encourage and support me. I distract my mind with an amazing idea, rather than dwelling on the negative. I refuse to let disability and chronic pain define who I am.
When you get stuck in a rut where everything looks bleak, just remember that it could always be worse. Life is a blessing, so I urge you to remain optimistic and do all you can to take pleasure in all the wonderful things that you currently have. Look at the bigger picture and never give up.
If you’re in interested in how I deal with chronic pain, then check out my previous article here.