Rising Above: Elizabeth’s Inspiring Journey from Wheelchair to Runway

From wheelchair-bound to runway success—Elizabeth’s inspiring journey of transformation and advocacy.

Aug · 2023

rising above elizabeths inspiring journey from wheelchair to runway

My Journey from Wheelchair Bound to Runway Success

Hello, my name is Elizabeth, and I want to share my remarkable story with you. I’m a professional model hailing from Middle Tennessee, but my journey to where I am today has been nothing short of extraordinary.

A Weighty Challenge

A few years ago, I was facing a daunting challenge. I was morbidly obese, weighing 440 pounds. This excess weight had taken a severe toll on my body, causing degenerative disk disease and leaving me in constant pain. I couldn’t walk or even breathe without discomfort. Those years, from 2017 to 2020, were some of the toughest I’ve ever faced.

A Turning Point

But in the face of adversity, I found the strength to turn my life around. I embarked on a self-improvement journey that would change the course of my life. In 2022, I made the decision to undergo weight loss surgery. It wasn’t an easy path, but through dedication and hard work, I shed an incredible 150 pounds. I went from being confined to a wheelchair to not only walking but even running.

mental health
mental health

Mental Health Matters

My physical transformation was only part of the story. In 2020, I received diagnoses that no one ever wants to hear: Bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, clinical depression, and anxiety. These mental health challenges could have overwhelmed me, but I was determined to overcome them. I embarked on a journey of therapy, self-discovery, and healing.

Advocating for Mental Health

My struggles with mental health inspired me to become an advocate for others facing similar battles. For over three years now, I’ve been working tirelessly to raise awareness about mental health issues and to let people know that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.

The Power of Inspiration

Now, you might wonder why I’m sharing my story. Well, it’s quite simple. My friend Lacey tagged me in a post about an opportunity to be featured on this blog, and I felt compelled to share my journey. While my story may not be entirely unique, I believe that it carries a powerful message.

Overcoming Obstacles

I’ve gone from being wheelchair-bound and clinically depressed to walking runways and being published as a model. My transformation is proof that nothing is out of reach if we set our hearts and minds to it. My hope is that my journey can inspire others facing their own challenges, whether physical or mental, to believe in themselves and their ability to overcome.

A Message of Hope

In sharing my story, I aim to show that transformation is possible, and that with determination and support, we can achieve incredible things. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and I hope it brings a little inspiration to your day.

youre never alone
You’re Never Alone

You’re Never Alone

Remember, you’re never alone in your struggles, and there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow.


In closing, I want to leave you with this thought: Life is a journey filled with ups and downs, and it’s our response to adversity that defines us. My journey from the depths of physical and mental challenges to the heights of professional modeling and advocacy for mental health has shown me that with determination, support, and a belief in oneself, we can conquer even the most daunting obstacles.

Thank you for joining me on this part of my journey, and I hope that my story has inspired you to face your challenges with resilience and hope. Remember, you have the strength within you to overcome, no matter how steep the climb may seem.

With gratitude,


IG: elizabeth.vaughn.jca

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