Baltimore woman given medal by president

BALTIMORE - Just because your legs won't carry you, doesn't mean that you still can't wear cute shoes.

In 1984, a distracted driver's carelessness left Janice Jackson with an shattered spine.

She says although rehab and physical therapy were available, there was little that dealt with the unique problems that women with disabilities had to face.

So she made something available.

"I held my first support group while I was still in rehab with the halo on my head a trachea tube in my throat and right away I knew that there were women in that rehab that were feeling the same way that I felt."

That was more than 25 years ago.

And in those years Janice has worked to let other women know that you still look good, and you can still be a mother, a wife, a business owner, an athlete any one you choose.

That's why she created W.E.A.N., Women Embracing Abilities Now seven years ago.

"We don't go in there painting rosy pictures it's a day to day thing sometimes it's an our to hour sometime it's minute to minute adjusting to this life as a woman with a disability and once they see our sincerity and we're just not giving them lip service that we lived this life and it does give them hope." Jackson says.

Rhonda Ward and Saundra Simmons-Bell are two of W.E.A.N.'s mentors.

Both say there were times that they themselves were ready to give up, but Janice's inspiration helped inspire them to help others.

"They're question is how how do i come from this to looking nice again you got to want she says i don't even feel like it, you gotta want it." Simmons-Bell says.

"It's all in you you can't give up life just because live gives you a disability doesn't's mean that you're life is over guess what it's beginning in a whole new realm you got a whole knew way you can take life and i look at it as an adventure." Ward says.

Because of her tireless work, Janice Jackson was presented with the Presidential Citizen's medal at the white house a week ago.

She and her W.E.A.N. mentors have talked to thousands of women to help them learn to adjust to their new lives.

Janice says meeting the president was beyond cool, but she's hoping that this exposure will help let other women know that there is help.

"Letting society know that this minority does not discriminate you know to get people to look at it in a different way that life isn't over it isn't." Jackson says.

To give you and idea of how they do things.

Tonight down at The League for People with Disabilities where the group is located, Janice and her mentors are having a glamor photo shoot.

They want to celebrate their organization and just have a good time.

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