This medical wonder grew up wearing leg braces for severe congenital hip dysplasia. Undergoing two surgeries during her undergraduate years, she earned a bachelor’s degree … and something more. On her surgeon’s advice, she started working out to get into the best shape possible before going under the knife.
“I needed to be fit and lean,” she says, “not hauling around any extra body weight on new hips.”
Sommers liked the workouts, especially lifting weights. After her second surgery, she became a gym rat and her coach suggested power lifting. In a year, with the surgeon’s blessing, Sommers won a state power-lifting championship in her weight class.
Still lifting today, Sommers chairs a disability-awareness panel of the Students for Equality in Legal Education. Last summer, she interned for the American Association of People with Disabilities.
As baby boomers age, she predicts, the disability rate will rise and she’ll be there to advocate for the disabled.
—Adapted from “Disability can’t hold this activist back,” Christine Heinrichs, The National Jurist.