A paralyzed teen models for a photo shoot and fulfills a dream she never thought possible. Unable to move from her chest down, Mackenzie Clare didn’t foresee modeling becoming a reality. The wheelchair-bound 19-year-old girl from Leesburg, Virginia didn’t realize her attractive looks and paralysis would actually serve her well to model.
A well-timed outing for the paralyzed teen made all the difference.
While on a date with her boyfriend, photographer Kerri Lane approached Mackenzie and noticed her in a wheelchair. Lane knew that would make the photo shoot she had in mind even better. Lane tells MyFoxDC:
“I see this beautiful redhead, and of course mermaid flashed in my head, and I said– that is my mermaid. I’ve been working on this mermaid shoot and I thought she was stunning.”
After she gets a close look at the teen, Lane was smitten to use her in a photo shoot:
“When I stood up that’s the first time I saw she was in a wheelchair. It’s not something you usually see for someone her age so it was a shock. But at the same time it was a shock and then ahhh, this would be phenomenal.”
Mackenzie recalls the “discovery” by Kerri Lane:
“It was exciting because she wasn’t asking me what was wrong or nosy or anything like that. It was for a photo shoot and it made me feel really special.”
Mackenzie’s mother, Lisa Clare, always told her daughter she should model because she’s so pretty. Things changed for Mackenzie when her family’s car was hit by a reckless driver at the age of 10. She suffered a serious spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down. Lisa Clare says:
“She would say nobody’s ever going to want me to be a model. I’m in a wheelchair and I can’t do all the things models need to do.”
The photo shoot for Mackenzie is an eight-hour process with one big session of her in a mermaid costume in a pool. Some photos are of Mackenzie in the water and others are of her in the wheelchair. There’s a beautiful one of her being carried up some stairs in a Cinderella-themed photo.
Mackenzie says the photo shoot made her “feel so special and good about myself and strong and proud.”
The photographer says it makes her feel good to give something back to Mackenzie. She made this girl realize even more that being wheelchair-bound didn’t translate to the end of a dream. Models aren’t typically paralyzed, but it takes especially special models to pull off what Mackenzie has in the images. The whole experience has given Mackenzie Clare a large dose of confidence fulfilling such a “high dream.” She knows it’s possible now despite being in a wheelchair. She wonders if she should even pursue being “one of the first models in a wheelchair,” she says.
Mackenzie’s family helped with the costume details and Lisa Clare credits “Paul Unger for sewing the costumes, Tim Hartley for filling the role of Prince Charming, Robyn Graves for help on the set, and Jeanette Kerns for doing hair and makeup.”
More images of this extraordinary photo shoot can be seen on the Facebook page here.
Daily Mail posted a site dedicated to helping pay for Mackenzie’s non-medical needs due to her paralyzed condition. HelpHOPELive is a site that accepts donations for families that have expenses related to catastrophes or other life-changing events.
The Inquisitr has written other moving articles about people fulfilling their dreams being wheelchair-bound, such as this one about a teen boy in a wheelchair kicking the first ball at the 2014 World Cup.
Will Mackenzie Clare’s dream amount to other possible paralyzed teen models fulfilling their dreams? This is certainly an encouraging story for those who feel discouraged — or have given up — on their biggest dreams.
[Image Credits: Kerri Lane Photography via Daily Mail]