Manderson, who immigrated from Jamaica to the Bronx as a child, suffers from a degenerative nerve disease, spinal muscular atrophy, that confines her to a motorized wheelchair. She credits a difficult spinal surgery in 2008 with improving her life, enabling her to better care for her 4-year-old daughter, Akasha.
Navigating the streets of New York City can be an arduous journey for someone in a wheelchair, as Manderson’s story makes clear. Potholes, crowded sidewalks, and out-of-order elevators are just some of the obstacles she faces. But Manderson’s determination and devotion to her students and her daughter give her the drive to face these challenges.
Watch the video below: