PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) – Caityln Lewis was just 17-years-old when an argument with an ex- boyfriend changed her whole life back in 2016.
“I didn’t want to be a guy’s girlfriend anymore so he shot me,” Lewis recalled. “The bullet got everything in my body except my heart, appendix, and cervix, and it paralyzed me from the waste down.”
Being confined to a chair, Caitlyn had to adjust to a new life on wheels.
“I’ve had to learn to move around be mobile, do everything that I do everyday in different ways,” Lewis explained.
While having full time support from family, friends, and her fiance, it was a support group on Facebook where Caityln interacted with Ms. Wheelchair VIRGINIA, who encouraged her to run for the title within her own state for special reasons.
“Being able to have the opportunity to raise awareness for disabilities and everything, there’s not many resources out there so I was really excited to be a part of it, so I went for it,” Lewis said.
She achieved it. Caitlyn was crowned at the Chuck Mathena Center on February 16, 2020 in front of her loved ones, becoming the first title holder in the state since 1984. She will now use this platform to raise awareness and encourage others in similar positions not to let a wheel chair hold them back from whatever they set their minds to.
“As long as you do everything you can to be who you wanna be, it’s possible,” Lewis stressed.
Caitlyn is now in the process of organizing fundraisers so she can qualify for Miss Wheelchair America. That competition will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas in August 2020.
For more information on when future fundraisers will take place, visit Caitlyn’s official Facebook page.