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'My disability informs me': Quadriplegic West Vancouver council candidate shares inspiring life journey

North Vancouver, B.C. -

Twenty-four years ago, Alexis Chicoine's life changed forever.

At the age of 30, she was on her honeymoon in Venezuela when she got into a car accident.

"I guess I watched enough medical shows that when I'm laying there and I went to push to get up, I'm like, 'oh no, I'm paralyzed,'" she said.

Chicoine told CTV News that it was a huge adjustment for her, adding that it was as much an emotional journey as a physical one.

"You lose 90 per cent of your body," she said. "You have this projection of where life was going to go and unfortunately the partner at the time couldn't handle it. Too much of a change and he left."

"So, 29 to 31, I was married, quadriplegic, and divorced."

But the obstacles didn't stop her from living her life.

With the help of her loved ones, Chicoine got back into the workforce and said she soon noticed how inaccessible West Vancouver was.

"There are so many doors, even today, that don't have automated buttons; restaurants, bathrooms," she said.

While she has seen progress over the years, she said there's still a lot more work to do. Now, she's running for council in West Vancouver with the goal of seeing that work done.

"At the municipal level, I can't control everything, but I can control policy," she said.

She said if she's elected, she would offer a fresh perspective in council that she believes will lead to more inclusive and environmentally friendly infrastructure, including universally designed buildings, fully accessible public transportation as well as more senior homes.

"My disability informs me, but it doesn't define me," Chicoine said. "Diversity in thought is so important for innovation and that is all aspects that I tie to my disability."

"My disability has brought me so many strengths and it really has defined the strengths that I can bring to the table," she added.

Voters head to the polls Oct. 15. Top Stories

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