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2023 Awardee – Tristan Montgomery – HWRA – Weber HS – Home-school – Donated by Senator John and Heather Johnson

Mar 22, 2023


Every teenage boy dreams of a set of wheels to go to high school. I never imagined that the ones I would get would be attached to a chair. Trying to navigate life in a wheelchair has been a huge challenge. I was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy which affects all the muscles in my body and makes everything difficult. While most boys my age are playing sports, lifting weights, and driving cars. I am stuck in a body that requires help to get out of bed, get dressed, and pretty much everything I want to do.

I wish I could tell you all the wisdom I have gained and strategies of how to make it through a life challenge like this but the truth is that I haven’t figured that out yet. It’s hard to deal with everyday. It’s hard to watch people run off places that my chair isn’t able to go. It’s frustrating to not be included in things my friends are doing that I’m not able to do. I put on a smile and try to have normal conversations but the truth is that it feels like no one quite understands all the difficulties I face everyday.

Sometimes life can seem hard and unfair. It can be so hard to remain positive and optimistic when things are out of your control and it doesn’t feel like it will get better. I’m still trying to figure out how to be okay with this challenge and what I can learn from it. My advice would be to keep getting up everyday even if you don’t feel like it. Take life one day at a time. Keep looking for the moments of good among the hard. Focus on the blessings you do have and enjoy life the most you can regardless of what you’re struggling with.

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