Young people with spinal cord injuries share their self-image struggles and triumphs.
Written By John Christensen
Photography By Gary Meek, Leita Cowart, and Jeremy Wilburn
When 18-year-old Kelsey Sasser was a freshman at Holy Innocents Episcopal School in Atlanta, her English teacher told the class “If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.”
Kelsey quipped, “Are you trying to make fun of me?”
Her classmates laughed, but the teacher was horrified, thinking he’d offended her. He hadn’t.
“That’s just the way I roll,” she says. Kelsey has been rolling since she was six years old, when she sustained a complete T-3 spinal cord injury in an auto accident. Now a recent high school graduate, she is a poised young woman whose stunning photograph of a smudged, one- legged Barbie doll won a photography contest. She also hit the bull’s-eye three times the first time she shot a 9-millimeter pistol, programs the family’s electronic devices and — English teachers take note — was voted by her classmates “Most Likely to Make You Laugh.”