3E Stories

Over the past year, we have been collecting stories and photos from 3E Lovers all over the world. Thanks to them, we were able to put together this new website and form our vision for the future of 3E Love.  We were not able to do as much as we had planned, but hopefully with the launch of 3E Diaries, everyone will be able to tell their stories.  

Please help contribute to this page and our website by telling your story. We need lots of photos and content to keep things running smoothly and spread our message all over the world! Once we launch our new 3E Diaries website, we will be working with those of you who share with us to help us build it.  

Tell Your Story



What's the International Symbol of Acceptance mean to you? 

Erica from Westfield, PA
I feel empowered. The wheelchair is hip enough to appeal to children and teens, they feel comfortable asking about it and I am of course happy to talk about it. It's also sophisticated enough that adults don't feel silly for asking about it. They know when they see it that they can talk to me about disabilities. It's a conversation starter that this topic has never had.

Chelsea from Portland, OR
The wheelchair heart symbol to me, is a symbol that represents the love that disabled people possess. I wear it proudly, to show my love for everyone.
 
Jessica from Washington, DC
It symbolizes acceptance of who you really are-- from the inside out-- and encourages us as people with disabilities to take pride in our differences.

Becky from Freeport, IL
The wheelchair heart symbol, to me, embodies the ultimate disability awareness.  It shows that people, all people, deserve love and compassion.  After all, people are just that - PEOPLE FIRST.  I love the wheelchair heart because it incorporates the heart symbol with the wheelchair symbol - at first glance, you can't even separate the two.  They are truly woven together.
  
Karen from Norfolk, VA
For me it's embracing the equality in those that are differently-abled than myself.  The method of mobility doesn't make a person, it's the person. Many people are uncomfortable by the tangible difference and find themselves unsure of how to respond or act, I try to break the barrier.

Kim from Everett, WA
A way to connect with others who share similar  experiences in life,  touched by a disability. I feel proud to wear my heart and share Gabby's story and 3E Love's story with anyone who will listen. 

Anita from Shreveport, LA
The first time I saw it, my heart just smiled. :)  It would be the only tattoo I would consider, because it shouts of love for all.

Cynthia from Cambridge, MD
I love the symbol because it represents the loving spirt of folks who are wheelchair users and their providers. It makes me smile!!

Amber from Charleston, IL
The symbol means a lot to me since my friend created it and since my other friend runs 3E Love.  The symbol is important because it shows that disability is not something to be ashamed of or pitied, but is an important, positive aspect of many peoples' lives.

Liza from Glassboro, NJ
This symbol was the first time I ever saw the "handicap symbol" in a positive and loving light. I have always been patently against going voluntarily under the needle for a tattoo (one too many surgeries will do that to you!), but after seeing this symbol, I was so vicerally drawn to it that I am currently saving for my first and only tattoo! I also have a pride as a disability awareness educator and consultant that I has been ramped up tenfold by wearing this symbol around my neck. 

David from Farmer City, IL
It represents my child. I think it all comes back to David.

Stephanie from Reading, PA
As soon as I saw this symbol for the very first time, I absolutely fell in love with it.  I knew right away that I wanted it tattooed on my body permanently.  It captures what matters the most about people with disabilities: love.  It shows the world that people with disabilities are no different than people without, that they love life more than anyone, and that they are people with hearts that embrace the world without letting a few hurdles get in the way.  It illustrates that love knows no boundaries!!

Lisa Marie from Ronkonkoma, NY
It makes me proud. It gives me a chance to share about disabilities with others by opening up communication. I think the symbol represents equality and uniqueness.

Holly from Gresham, OR
I really like the heart symbol instead of the wheelchair symbol. I hope someday if will become legalized as a symbol instead of a chair symbol because it shows more love. It doesn't put us in a box so much. I just makes me happy just looking at it and gives me hope cause it just looks so loving, and so accepting of who we are.

Mary from Council Bluffs, IA
That there is a special place for me to park so that I can gain access to areas easily.  That there is a group of people just like me with limitations on what they can do.

Claire from Normal, IL
To me, this symbol means accepting the things that we cannot change and celebrating the little things in life.

Vickie from South Beloit, IL
Acceptance of all people

Danielle from Buffalo Grove, IL
Freedom and love for all

Jennifer from Waverly, IA
To me, it means acceptance and tolerance for all.

Megan from Oakwood, IL
It means loving yourself no matter how different or how difficult it may be. I feel that it represents loving a life that may throw a ton of hurdles at you, but making the best of it and finding the good in life. It makes me feel happy and it makes me remember all of the campers I have been with at camp and it represents my family, especially my sister for being strong throughout her life.

Karen from Schaumburg, IL
I think it means that people are people no matter their differences and we should treat them all with love.

Kara from Cincinnati, OH
Pride as a community.

Monika from Orland Park, IL
3E symbol means the world to me. It reminds me of camp and all of my friends that are involved in 3E. 
Kristin from Wheaton, IL
It represents hope. Acceptance. Love. Loving who you are and loving those around you. 

Monica from Landis, NC
The wheelchair heart symbol means loving myself with, without and beyond the body's limits and loving myself in spite of what anyone else thinks of my abilities or disabilities.

Dawn from Atlanta, GA
Makes me think of my son who is my inspiration.  It makes me smile because it reminds me how much I love him.  I represents unconditional love to me.  

Cara from New Hyde Park, NY
The Wheelchair Heart Symbol means pride.  It means that we are disabled and we're proud of being disabled.  It means that we are not going to allow others, disabled or not, to put us down because we have a disability.  It means that we are a distinct minority and it is a symbol of our culture.

Cassandra from Tornado, WV
It lets the world know 
that I'm not ashamed to be in a wheelchair, and just becuse I'm a person with a disability doesn't mean that I'm different and I have feelings too. It also helps people be more aware of people with a disability. The wheelchair heart symbol to me means love and acceptance for who you are no matter what your abilities are. Also acceptance of others no matter what their abilities are. It always makes me think of camp and the amazing times I have had and how they have shaped the way I am today. If more people see the symbol maybe the world will quite feeling sorry for people in wheelchairs.

Shannon from Guelph, ON Canada
It makes me smile. It represents every single person in this world who lives life with a disabiltiy. It makes me hope that one day everyone in this world will be EDUCATED about disabilites and learn to love no matter WHAT. It makes me think of all of the wonderful, awesome people I know who still LOVE LIFE with their disabilites!!!!

Maria from Atlanta, GA
That love, as a concept and as an emotion, is unifying. Anyone can do it, just takes a little heart. Thus, I think the wheelchair heart represents the universality of love. It makes me feel connected to humanity, as an equal, as a person who loves life no matter what gets thrown my way.
Viki from Chicago, IL
It makes me think of lots of things, MDA camp, Horizon camp, Annie & Stevie Hopkins.... all of the 
FREAKING AWESOME people I know through the different camps I've gone to/people I've met.  It makes me think of all the unforgettable times I have had with all of these people.  It reminds me that not every able-bodied person has been as lucky as I have been, and there are still a lot of people who need to be schooled on disability awareness.  It represents a sense of equality and love for all people with/without a disability.  It makes me happy  : )

Emily from Springfield, IL
The symbol means so much to me.  It makes me think of all of my awesome friends I've made and what it represents.  I am proud to wear it and tell people what it means.  I think of all the strong people who have MD and their courage and will power and it makes me look at life with a perspective I never would have had before.  The symbol represents strength, courage, love, awareness, friendship, family, etc... It is more than just a symbol... it is a way of life.

Ruthellen from Whitman, MA
It makes me feel accepted, at least that I accept myself. It cheers me up so much on bad days. I'm going to get it tattooed as soon as I can, with LOVE LIFE!

Dawn from Bloomington, IL
The symbol means so much to me, it symbolizes the love I feel for everyone I have met through camp, it makes me proud of all the things that Annie and Stevie have accomplished with 3E Love and all the things we have all accomplished in regards to increasing awareness, raising money for scholarships, and empowering each other.  It represents an ever-growing family of people who share a love and passion for making this world a better place. 

Stacey from Winter Haven, FL
To me it is a symbol of love and acceptance of all.

Candy from Sullivan, IL
Hope, strength, anything can happen if you believe it.

Jill from Morristown, NJ
To me, it lacks the negative stigma that the original wheelchair [symbal] always carried. It means empowerment and acceptance. It means "I'm okay with who I am." Plus, it must be "cool" or my 16 year old would refuse to wear it to school. Both my kids, 10 and 16, wear your clothing proudly. My 10 yr old wore it to school the first time and a kid asked her if it meant she liked old people. She was pretty amused and then proceeded to explain to the kid that it means "disability awareness."
Madeleine from Australia
Equality and acceptance. Unique and united with other people with a disability. It represents that we are worthy of love just as much as anyone else and we should love and empower each other. And use our disability to our advantage to show the world our capabilities! 

Nicole from Norridge, IL
To me, the Wheelchair Heart Symbol represents strength in love. It reminds me of the kids I see every day at camp and how much fun camp is, along with the number of friendships I have gained because of it.

Kasey from Hamilton, NJ
I think about everything I've been through from the start of my injury and all that's to come.  It's tough, it's frustrating, and I hate it at times, but I always remember how much beauty there is in this life. I have an amazingly supportive family and my true love of making and sharing artwork. There's so much to live for at any given time. My disability hasn't stopped me from a single thing, but instead has taught me to legitimately love life. That's what the symbol means to me.

Barbara from Windber, PA 
That I'm paralyzed and I have to love myself no matter if I'm paralyzed or not.

Tell Your Story



Maria from Atlanta, GA
That love, as a concept and as an emotion, is unifying. Anyone can do it, just takes a little heart. Thus, I think the wheelchair heart represents the universality of love. It makes me feel connected to humanity, as an equal, as a person who loves life no matter what gets thrown my way.