Latondra Chappell is like most teenagers. She drives, goes to prom and is attending college. However, at the age of 11, Latondra was diagnosed with congenital muscular dystrophy, which caused her muscles to break down and lose strength, putting her in a wheelchair.
At her local MDA Care Center, Latondra’s doctor pushed her to live a life as unlimited as possible. With her health care providers’ help and the encouragement of her mother, Nikki, Latondra worked to create the strength she needs to stay mobile and independent by doing exercises and stretches.
Everyday activities used to be impossible for Latondra to do on her own, but her determination to become independent resulted in her gaining the freedom to live her life in ways she never thought were possible.
Latondra can now walk up the stairs, something she pushed herself to do when the elevator in her high school broke down and she had no other way to get to class. Driving also seemed impossible, but she worked hard and got her license. Now she’ll be able to commute to and from college, the mall and other places without relying on her mother to transport her there.
MDA has supported Latondra and her family throughout their journey. The advice and guidance that their local MDA office has offered has given them hope and strength to get through each challenge they face. MDA Summer Camps have also played a role in Latondra’s life. At the camps, she was able to experience a barrier-free week of fun and make new friends.
Now, Latondra is living unlimited every day. She attended her high school prom in a stunning green dress, her favorite color. At the prom, Latondra broke barriers by getting out of her wheelchair to dance with her friends, making memories that will last a lifetime.
To Latondra, living unlimited means never giving up. Every day Latondra is working hard to continue to break down the barriers that congenital muscular dystrophy has set up for her, whether it is walking up a flight of stairs or driving herself around. Her live unlimited moments are everything she does, every day in her life. At the end of every day she knows she accomplished everything she could.
It has been a difficult journey, but with Latondra and her family’s positive attitude they are always looking forward to what is next. Her goal is to become a veterinarian to help animals and a public speaker to tell the world that they should never give up on their dreams.
As Latondra walks across the stage to receive her high school diploma, she knows that she has accomplished great things. She is encouraging others to live unlimited while continuing to work hard, focusing on her goals and becoming more and more independent. With help from her mom, MDA and her own fighting spirit, Latondra is looking ahead with strength, conviction and a firm resolve to manage life on her own terms.
Have you shared how you #LiveUnlimited yet? A generous donor is now giving MDA $5 for every image shared!
Sharing is easy — it takes 1 minute or less:
- Snap a photo
- Visit mda.org/LiveUnlimited
- Upload and customize your image with our easy-to-use tool
- Share your moment on social media
- Tag 5 friends to share their own moments, too
One minute of your time, $5 for MDA. Challenge 5 friends to do the same and that’s $25 more!
Learn more about Latondra on WBTV (Charlotte, NC): “Teen with muscular dystrophy celebrates ditching her wheelchair,” July 18, 2016