Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts, Patti Panzarino: Creatively Persevering through Life

Amy Saffell

by Amy Saffell

Greatness lies within us all, however sometimes we don’t recognize our potential without someone else’s help. This is the case with the newly-crowned Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts, Patti Panzarino. What started out as an ordinary trip to get her wheelchair serviced turned into much more. A woman who worked at the shop mentioned the pageant to Patti, mentioning that she happened to be on the board of directors and thought that she would be a great contestant. Patti had never thought of herself as the “pageant type.” Particularly at the age of 53, she had her reservations about a pageant, but after learning that the contest focused on advocacy and accomplishment, she began to consider the idea a little more. With the encouragement of this woman and her husband, who she married in August of 2011, Patti was eventually convinced to compete.   
Patti Panzarino

Although she was originally reluctant to participate, as Patti began to prepare and the days got closer, she became increasingly motivated and excited. Becoming a part of this pageant meant something to Patti, and she wanted to put her nerves aside. She was worried that her accomplishments thus far weren’t on par with the other contestants, nonetheless Patti stuck with the process.

Let's Rock & Roll!

by Bethany A. Hoppe

News Flash:  We have skipped Spring. None of us are swimsuit ready! I have bought Zumba for my Wii and a DVD of Intro to Yoga for Toning and Shaping.

Clearly I've been thinking about body image. What we think about our bodies, what we think about other people's bodies, and what maybe-kinda-perhaps other people are thinking of our bodies can be overwhelming.  

That's an awful lot of people thinking an awful lot about bodies.  

I don't know about you, but when I think about my body I find sometimes we're friends. Sometimes we're enemies. And sometimes we're frenemies.  It depends on the day, the occasion, the weather, the moon phase, the tide, the year, the age, the color of the sky, the traffic, the atmosphere, the mood, pre-or-post coffee, the season, and most particularly what major event is coming up.  

To name a few factors.  

Women have more body issues than men.  Men, however, are catching up with women when it comes to dealing with body issues.  The more media displays the ideal male - aggressive, muscular, traditional-typed masculine traits - the more men are beginning to believe that this is the way they should be in order to be desirable.  

mobileROMANCE: Always in the friend category

mobileROMANCE columnist
Tiffiny Carlson

Hi Tiffiny,

I’m a 29 year old guy in a wheelchair, very independent and somewhat successful. I’d say I’m a good looking guy and think I come across relatively confident and talking to girls has never been a problem. I realized early after my accident that life was going to be significantly different when it came to women and relationships (I know, not rocket science…haha). It was not going to be nearly as easy as it once was, but I’ve been pretty determined to not let my chair be my excuse.

After trying and failing to pick up girls in a similar way to how I once had, I decided that a better way to approach it might be to rather befriend them rather than actively perusing them. Only problem is I now have a bunch of girl “friends” and no girlfriend, and it’s beginning to feel not too dissimilar from the relationships girls have with their gay guy friends! If I try to make a move and the feelings aren’t mutual, the friendship will never be the same.

My question is, what--if anything--would you do differently?

Mr. Always Platonic