Sheri N. Denkensohn-Trott
Age 48, quadriplegic
Photographed by Kate Warren


Athletic, smart, leader, friend, sister, daughter, 16 years old-summer was ending and I eagerly awaited field hockey and my junior year. On a summer night, I dove into a swimming pool and my life changed in an instant. I became a word I never knew- quadriplegic.

I entered a rehabilitation center where my new circumstances became a reality. Anger, discomfort, sickness and coming to grips with my new situation. Returning home to an inaccessible house, rural community and school where nothing had changed, but I was completely different. Inner strength, with the support of family and friends, made me determined to be positive. I wanted to succeed in life.

I DID move forward! Graduated high school at the top of my class, college magna cum laude, and then received my law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. I am a practicing attorney for almost 25 years with the Federal Government. Also, to my great surprise, in 2004, I met a wonderful man who also has a disability and we just celebrated 10 years of marriage. The people around me— husband, family, friends and health care workers, were the key motivating factors in my recovery then and now.

Despite the ups and downs, I refuse to give up. I am “On the Move and Out Of the Shadows,” determined to live life to the fullest. Bold Beauty Project exudes empowerment. Women with disabilities ALL have beauty; and every person, with or without a disability, has a gift to give the world. Our recently launched company, Happy on Wheels, has a mission to inspire others to live happier lives. Join us on this journey.

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.”
– Henry David Thoreau