TV's ''Push Girls'' break wheelchair boundaries

Sun Jun 3, 2012 7:23pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Angela is a stunning model, Auti is a dancer who is trying for a baby, Tiphany is designing a clothes line and Mia works as a graphic designer.

And all four women are paralyzed from the neck or waist down and are about to shatter widespread notions of what it's like to spend life in a wheelchair.

"Push Girls", launching on the Sundance Channel on Monday, chronicles the lives of the ambitious and dynamic quartet in a way that producers say has never before been seen on U.S. television.

"Plenty of people have no idea what it's like to spend the day in the life of someone with a disability, let alone a spinal cord injury," said Tiphany Adams, 29, who was paralyzed in a horrific 2000 car accident.

"How do we get in and out of a car? How do we go to the bathroom. How do we go grocery shopping? How do we get in the shower? How do we get dressed? I thought it was a brilliant idea for the world to see that," she said.

Told without self-pity, "Push Girls" shows the women going about their lives in Los Angeles just like other good-looking females in their 20s, 30s and 40s - flirting, going to nightclubs, in bed with boyfriends, chatting about love lives and searching their souls about the future.

Unlike many current reality shows dreamed up in writers' rooms and producers' offices, the 14-episode documentary was inspired by the girls themselves.

"I wanted to do a show about people in wheelchairs. Then going out to find them, the girls came first," producer Gay Rosenthal told Reuters.   Continued...

Stars of the new Sundance Channel reality series "Push Girls" who are all paraplegics (L-R) Mia Schaikewitz, Auti Angel, Angela Rockwood and Tiphany Adams are shown in this undated publicity photograph.