"What Would You Do?" fan Amy Saffell was born with spina bifida, a condition that leaves her wheelchair bound. After learning of the "How Would You Do It?" contest, she was inspired to submit what proved to be a winning idea. She shares her story below.
As a longtime follower of "What Would You Do?", when I heard that the show was asking for submissions, I jumped at the chance to have my story heard. Being born with spina bifida, I've used a wheelchair all of my life, but I haven't let it stop me from doing the things that a lot of other people aspire to do. After graduating college, I moved to a suburb of Nashville where I have my own place and car and work for a record label. I spend my time going to concerts, volunteering, and enjoying the company of friends. I've navigated life's twists and turns by learning to adapt to my circumstances, knowing that my belief in my abilities can carry me further than any physical limitation could weigh me down.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't always understand that someone with a disability can be successful and independent. Not a week goes by when I don't experience someone thinking that I'm far less capable than I really am, and I wanted to bring my experiences to light through "What Would You Do?" with the hope that viewers would begin to reconsider how they think about someone with a disability. I had only seen one previous episode of "What Would You Do?" that featured someone in a wheelchair in a scenario surrounding accessible parking, and just as that scenario told the story of someone with a disability who was striving to be an independent adult in society, I wanted the opportunity to show the same in a little different way.
When I got the call that my submission had been chosen, I was thrilled and very surprised! I had submitted my scenario a few months ago, and I'd honestly forgotten about it. I never really thought that my scenario would be chosen, but I'm definitely glad that I was wrong. I was so excited that an issue of disability awareness was going to be addressed on national television because, even though it's my story, it's also the story of so many with disabilities around the country. That call from the show set off a whirlwind of trying to get ready for the trip. It was my first time in New York City, and I wanted to make sure that I was prepared to enjoy as much of the city as I could during the time that we were there, both from a sightseeing and entertainment perspective and also from a winter wardrobe perspective. Living in the south where, if it gets too cold, we just stay indoors, I knew that I'd need a few more layers to deal with the New York winter weather and the more outdoor-centered culture. As our plane began to descend on the The Big Apple and knowing just how much there was to see, I couldn't wait to begin exploring the city.