Corrinne is St Andrews first model to be strutting her stuff in a wheel chair. Here she talks about the illness she lives with, and how it impacts her at different times. We have a terrible habit of stereotyping what a 'disability' should be or look like - Corrinne fearlessly busts those myths and shares her story with us all.
When I was fourteen, I was diagnosed with a medical condition that required me to sometimes need a wheelchair. I have something called Ehlers-Dalos Syndrome Type III with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. The Ehlers-Danlos means that my joints are too flexible, so the wheelchair helps keep me from rolling an ankle, overextending my knees, keeping too much pressure off my hips, things like that. Essentially, it makes sure my joints all stay where they’re supposed to be.
The Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a bit harder to explain. Due to the pull of gravity, whenever you stand up, all of your blood flows to your legs. Usually, your autonomic nervous system takes care of pushing that blood back up to your brain. Mine just doesn’t always do that. After a while, I’ll faint, so the blood can get back to where it’s needed. On a bad day, I can really only stand for seven to ten minutes.
It’s a peculiar world to be in: sometimes using a wheelchair, and sometimes not. I’ve been told that I probably couldn’t be in the musical Chicago because my wheelchair isn’t sexy. When someone saw me without my wheelchair, they exclaimed “Fraud!” My personal favorite was when my friend got so flustered with the whole situation she turned to me and asked “Does it bother you when someone says you use a wheelchair?”
I’m a model because people have a hard time defining me in terms of the wheelchair. The wheelchair helps fill out the picture, rather than being the sole focus point. The wheel chair is simply part of my reality; I have curly hair, I can make a mean macaroni and cheese, and, sometimes, I use a wheelchair. It’s just there. With or without it, I’m me.
I really can’t put my excitement to be a part of Label into words. I am thrilled for the opportunity to leave people’s biases behind and rock the runway simply as Corrinne, not as the girl in the wheelchair.
As Corrinne, not as the girl who might be faking it.
As Corrinne, who absolutely could ooze sex appeal in the Cell Block Tango for Chicago.
As Corrinne, who loves picnics and bubble baths.
As Corrinne, who loves to wear anything with prints or patterns.
As Corrinne, who has light up wheels for her wheelchair.