Keep Rolling Forward
Friendly Wheels, Issue 97
With Alter Ur Ego founder Heidi McKenzie
Look good and feel even better!
Life’s journey is full of twists and turns that can lead us to unexpected opportunities. Heidi Mckenzie is no stranger to facing life’s changes. In one swift moment, Heidi’s life changed forever, setting her on a new course.
In 2007, Heidi was in a car accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down at 21 years old. “My first challenge was accepting that I would be in a wheelchair and learning to find new ways to do my everyday activities,” Heidi said.
Heidi’s disability creates challenges, but she has used her own experience as motivation to become and advocated for the disabled community.
Her newest venture, Alter Ur Ego, provides clothing specifically designed for people with disabilities. Alter Ur Ego sells jeans that are comfortable, fashionable and accessible with features better designed for people with mobility challenges. The pants have special pockets on the thighs for easy access, a high back waistline so everything is covered when bending over, an elastic back with straps for ease of dressing, customized length options, tummy control panel and a catheter opening for women.
The idea of Alter Ur Ego came to Heidi while she was competing in Ms. Wheelchair America 2013, just one year after winning Ms. Wheelchair Kentucky. “I met 20 other girls in wheelchairs and realized that we all had trouble finding fashionable and functional clothing,” said Heidi.
When she’s not working on Alter Ur Ego, Heidi is involved in other disability organizations, such as Build Inclusion, Inc. and the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI). Heidi also volunteers as a peer mentor at the Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington, where she speaks to recently injured spinal cord patients.
Heidi’s contributions towards people with disabilities are innovative and thoughtful. We are excited to see what’s next from Alter Ur Ego!
Note: Though the Alter Ur Ego website shows only preorders available, we contacted them and they ensured us that orders will ship the week after they are placed. For more information, please click here to contact Alter Ur Ego.