NEW ORLEANS -- Ms. Wheelchair America 2018, Sheri Melander-Smith, is traveling across the nation to encourage other spinal cord injury patients.
Today she visited New Orleans and went to Touro Infirmary.
Miss Wheelchair Louisiana, Karen Roy, joined her as well, so the both of them could share words of hope with Touro patients.
"My platform is to live your very best life possible, and by that I mean to live your best life under the circumstances and whatever that means to you," she said.
The Ms. Wheelchair America pageant consists of interviews and short speeches.
Melander-Smith is a former model and even appeared on TV's "The Bold & The Beautiful."
When she was 25 she had a vascular malformation, a blood vessel was resting on her spinal cord and ruptured. Since then she's focusing on the positive and she offered this advice to Touro patients.
"Learn to love yourself again and experience yourself in your new body, and learn to be happy," she said.