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Paralyzed Delco Woman Is Finalist In ”Best Mom on Wheels” Competition

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By Tim Jimenez and Anne-Marie Green

SWARTHMORE, Pa. (CBS) - A Delaware County Mom is a finalist in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s “Best Mom on Wheels” contest. But to win, she needs to a lot of people to vote.

Edna Escher Gaston has been “on wheels” since 1981. That’s when a car accident on I-95 left her confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. At the time, Gaston was a newly divorced, single mother of an eight-year-old daughter, Karen.

Gaston wanted life to remain as normal as possible for her daughter so she vowed to do all the things she did before. She taught herself to drive, swim, ride a horse and she went to all of her daughter’s school functions.

It wasn’t easy. In 1981 there were no curb cuts, special parking spots or automatic doors. Getting around was difficult for people with disabilities. Gaston co-founded the Barrier Awareness of Delaware County. The group raised awareness and brought the issue of accessibility all the way to Capital Hill. Her hard work helped lead to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Over the years, Gaston also spoke with school children about overcoming obstacles, all while being a mother, and now a grandmother of two.

If Gaston wins, she’ll get high tech equipment to help with her mobility. To vote, you can go to christopherreeve.org.

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