Buddy Winnett Horse Trainer & Jockey

Buddy Winnett is a former horse jockey and trainer who is legally blind due to macular degeneration. Born in West Virginia to a large family, Winnett was diagnosed with spina bifida, and wasn't expected to live past the age of 6.


Hank Williams, Sr

Hank Williams was one of the most influential country musicians of all time, both as a singer and as a composer.Official Website

Frida Kahlo - Artist

World-famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is an impressive example of an artist whose entire life and creativity were extremely influenced by chronic, severe illness. Many of her best-known works depict her physical and mental suffering. She painted using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism.

Jean Driscoll — Wheelchair Racer & Olympian

Jean Driscoll Jean was born with spina bifida. She is a seven-time winner of the Boston Marathon, setting world records in five of those races. She set a world record in the 10-kilometer race last year, and won silver medals in 800-meter events at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, as well as two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the 1996 Paralympics. In 2000, Jean was voted #25 of the Top 100 Female Athletes of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated for Women, a list topped by the Olympic track and field sensation, Jackie Joyner-Kersee. She is a world-renowned athlete who is also making an impact as a professional speaker. Her motivational and powerful presentations have been lauded by CEO's of corporate and non-profit enterprises, the U.S. government, and all levels of the education system.

Jay Bradford Fowler — Poet

Jay Bradford Fowler Jr., was an award-winning poet who was the author of 17 books of verse. He was born with spina bifida, and had been treated for degenerative arthritis throughout the 1990s. He had undergone at least 16 major operations over the years and had been bedridden the past eight years. The first of his 17 books of poetry, "Writing Down the Light," was published in 1987. A book of his collected poems, "Caged Angel," was published in 1997. His last book, "Outrageous Asylum, Sonnets from the Nursing Home," appeared in 1998. A final volume of his work is to be published this year.

Jim LeBrecht - Sound Designer

Jim was born with spina bifida. He is also the co-author (with composer Deena Kaye) of Sound and Music for the Theatre: the Art and Technique of Design, and has been a visiting professor at Yale University. LeBrecht has won numerous awards, including the San Francisco Bay Area Drama Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Sound Design, which might as well be renamed in his honor, since he's won it five times.

Rene Kirby - Actor

Rene Kirby Best known for his role in Shallow Hal, Rene (pronounced 'Reen') Kirby was born in Vermont in 1955. He also appeared in the film "Stuck On You" with Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear and Eva Mendes, and the HBO series Carnivàle.

Van Smith - Theatrical Make-Up Artist

Born in Florida in 1945, Walter Avant Smith Jr., showed an early interest in art, but lacked dexterity due to stiffness in his hands as a result of spina bifida. But he parlayed that interest into a career with film-maker John Waters after earning a degree in fashion arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Waters referred to Smith as the resident "ugly expert". He designed the pink satin ball gown adorned with huge cockroaches worn by Ricki Lake in Mr. Waters’s 1988 film, “Hairspray” and Divine's trademark look. He also worked as an illustrator at Women's Wear Daily and other publications in New York.

Robert Hensel - Poet

Robert was born with spina bifida. He is an International poet-writer with well over 900 publications published worldwide. In 2000, Robert was nominated as one of the best poets of the 20th Century. Robert is also a Guinness & Ripley's World Record Holder for the longest non stop wheelie in a wheelchair, covering a total distance of 6.178 miles.

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson - Wheelchair Racer & Paralympian

Born with spina bifida, Grey-Thompson's full name is Carys Davina but she is better known by her moniker, "Tanni". Tanni uses a wheelchair, and is considered to be one of the most successful disabled athletes in the United Kingdom. Thompson competes in events over a wide range of distances, first competing in the 100 m at the Junior National Games for Wales in 1984. Over her career to date, she has won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds, held over 30 world records, and won the London Marathon six times between 1997 and 2002. In 2002, she was made a Dame of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth.

Blaine Harrison - Musician

Blaine Harrison is the lead singer of the British group The Mystery Jets, a four-piece British indie band. Blaine has spina bifida and uses crutches to get around. He has a funky hairstyle that others are trying to copy.

Mike McGee — Slam Poet

Born January 12, 1976 in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. McGee currently lives in San Jose California where he started his career in spoken word, poetry slam and performance poetry in 1998. He has won several awards including: 
* 2006 San Jose Poetry Slam Individual Champion
* 2006 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion
* 2006 World Poetry Slampionship (2nd place)
* 2004 San Jose Grand Slam Champion
* 2003 National Poetry Slam Individual Grand Champion
* 2003 San Jose Grand Slam Champion
* 2003 San Francisco Grand Slam Champion

Jade Calegory - Actor

Jade starred in the movie "Mac and Me" , a movie about an extraterrestrial, separated from his family and stranded on Earth, and a boy who uses a wheelchair. Jade was born April 12, 1976.
Quote: "You shouldn't dwell on what you can't do. Focus on what you can do. And the more you see what you can do, the more you come to realize there are no limitations in life."

Jeffrey Tate - Conductor

Born in 1943 in Salisbury, England. Studies medicine at Cambridge University before switching to a career in music, which begins with schooling at the London Opera Center. Becomes principal assistant at Covent Garden in 1977. Makes regular symphonic appearances in Berlin, Dresden, Los Angeles and Boston. Awarded Knight Commander of the British Empire and French Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Aaron Fotheringham - Wheelchair Athlete

Aaron has not let his restrictions to a wheelchair hold him back. He has performed the first ever wheelchair flip. Check him out at http://www.aaronfotheringham.com/bio/

Lucinda Williams - Singer and Songwriter

Lucinda is an award winning performer whose awards include: 
* Grammys 2001 Best Female Rock Vocal Performance "Get Right with God"
* Grammys 1998 Best Contemporary Folk Album "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road">
* Grammys 1993 Best Country Song "Passionate Kisses" (songwriter - performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter)

Miller Williams - Poet

Miller Williams read his poem, "Of History and Hope" at President Bill Clinton's second inauguration. He has also written several books including: 
* Living on the Surface: New and Selected Poems
* The Ways We Touch: Poems
* Some Jazz a While: Collected Poems
* Making a Poem: Some Thoughts About Poetry And the People Who Write It

John Cougar Mellencamp - Singer

John Mellencamp, also known as John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp born October 7, 1951. As a child in Seymour, IN, Mellencamp had suffered a number of setbacks, including being born with a neural tube defect called spina bifida that necessitated a lengthy hospitalization as a baby. He is a Grammy-winning American rock singer-songwriter, musician, painter and occasional actor known for his rootsy, organic brand of heartland rock that is infused with catchy pop hooks and evocative, introspective lyrics about such hot-button subjects as politics, racism, poverty and mortality. Mellencamp has brought together rock, folk, country, blues and R&B into his eclectic body of work. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States. In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number-one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven, and he has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one.