Deborah Grayson Carpenter has been defying great odds since the early age of 2. On her first birthday, she was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – Type 1. In spite of this news, her parents were very adamant about instilling in her a positive mindset of, “though you might have to do things a little differently, you can be whomever and do whatever you want.”
After graduating from high school in 1986, Deborah spent a year at The University of Houston living in student housing. She also went to the Texas Paralegal School, where she earned her Paralegal Certificate. In 1993, Deborah was hired by Continental Airlines, working in the Reservations Department; she continued to work there for sixteen years until her retirement.
Despite early retirement, Deborah has since become Ms. Wheelchair Texas Ambassador 2014, as well as The National Spinal Cord Injury Association of Houston (NSCIAH) Ambassador 2014. She also was the first woman to be on the runway in Houston Fashion Week 2014 in the couture “Fashion for a Cause” show, which benefited the NSCIAH with a silent auction. In addition, she was the first model with a disability to be in the Houston Intercontinental Bridal Show and Young Houston Magazine fashion show at Mercedes Benz North Houston representing TeKay Designs, for which she had a dress custom-made for her by Kimma Wreh, an award-winning international designer.
Deborah is an aspiring spokes model and hopes to inspire young girls and women that “if I can do it, anyone can.” Deborah is helping to pave the way and make it easier for them. She plans on continuing her modeling career, and is a Brand Ambassador for Runway of Dreams.
Deborah is a huge success story and an inspiration to all, for she has the mindset of a true winner, motivated to be great no matter what. This is a reminder to all, that you can truly become who and what you want to be, no matter your circumstance.