Photographed by Laura Tillinghast.


MS changed her life since 1998 at age 25. It may have slowed her down but it has never stopped her. It has actually freed Joy from the most paralyzing illness-FEAR. MS may have maimed one life but it gave birth to the person of strength she is today. Her strong parents passed this on and it is her honor to continue their legacy of strength.

Once Joy’s fears were released, she embraced the freedom of life. One such freedom is dance. Dancing with a mixed-abilities troupe and getting the message is what she is here to do. She wanted to be able to get back on the dance floor and she is. Joy loves educating everyone she can, in fact, just because others may assume that “you couldn’t possibly dance because you are in a wheelchair,” she shows that it certainly can be. Her chair is not her confinement and MS does not define her.

“I am not just alive, I am living.” She dances to show people that, “if you want anything enough, you will find a way to have it. I am flying high as a kite when I dance.”