2013 Best Mom on Wheels Winner Nora Boyle
By: Janelle LoBello
The contest's name is "Best Mom on Wheels," except the 2013 Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's Best Mom on Wheels winner, has been hailed "the best person on wheels."
Humbled by her win after reading all the entries, Nora Boyle says, "Every mom tries to be their best, so this means a lot. I'm really excited, but I wish there was a way for all these moms to win."
Boyle, nominated for her second year in a row, received the most votes for this year's contest, with over 20% of more than 2,100 total votes, by way of snowball effect. She was unaware that her mother, Susan Hoffman, had nominated her, but once the top ten were announced, Boyle posted to her Facebook page encouraging followers to vote.
"I had friends sharing it and friends of friends," explains Boyle, who resides in Minnesota, of all the votes. "I work at a school as a Special Education Paraprofessional and my story was on the news. Kids were saying ‘I saw you on TV! I voted for you!'"
The votes meant more than just being crowned the Best Mom on Wheels and winning a $500 gift card from Tilt-A-Rack. "One second grader saw me in passing and said, ‘You're not just the Best Mom on Wheels, you're the best person on wheels,'" said Boyle with the sound of a smile in her voice.
Boyle and her children, Debi age 12, and Owen age 10, don't think of her any differently. "We do lots of stuff anyone else does," says Boyle. "We go to the zoo, museums, take day trips, and do arts and crafts. The kids are very helpful, sometimes it's easier having them with me, they help put my wheelchair in the SUV."
Boyle's children have never known their mom to be a mom that walks; she is living with paralysis from the waist down from a car accident at the age of 16. "Like my son said on TV," explained Boyle, "'My mom is just like any other mom. She is just a tiny bit different.'"
In addition to her husband, Jesse, her children, and her school, Boyle's parents are also big supporters. Overcome with gratitude Boyle's father, Lloyd, says, "This is well deserved for her. She has a wonderful husband that's supportive."
From one mom to another, Boyle's mother, Susan, couldn't have been happier. When she received the news her daughter had won the contest, her immediate reaction was, "Oh my goodness! I'm crying, I'm really, really, happy."
Read Nora's Best Mom on Wheels entry
A few items she is involved with include, community sales, scouts, scrapbooking weekends, cooking, babysitting, trips. She never seems to forget anyone or anything; when she is needed, she is there. Nora has been wheelchair bound since she was 16 gets better all the time. She sets goals, and reaches them: bungee jumping, skydiving, and working, you name it she will try it.
She lives in a non-accessible home with ramps built by her husband. Nora is determined not to bother people and do things for herself, if there was more space I could add all the actual adventures she has done. Please consider this remarkable young woman.