Bringing More Awareness To People Living With Disabilities


TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)-Living with a disability can be tough, just ask Cheryl Falzone.

“My disability is very much like MS,” said Falzone, president of the Northeast Mississippi Chapter of the Arc.  “I have spinal cerebral ataxia.”

Falzone was first diagnosed with this genetic disability ten years ago.

“I have a disability that affects my gate,” she said. “The way I walk, so I use a walker most of the time, and I’m in a situation now where I’m transferring into a wheel chair soon.”

Falzone said when she was first diagnosed with the disease it made her feel as if she was alone.

“I could no longer work,” she said, ” I was a waitress for 36 years, I couldn’t work, and I was raising my four kids while I was a waitress, so there are things that set you back.”

But being the fighter that she is, Falzone refused to let this disability get the best of her.

“I had a friend who came to me and said you need to get out and volunteer,” said Falzone.

And she did just that.  Now Falzone spreads awareness about different disabilities by hosting different events such as Picnic In the Park.  Saturday marked the third year the event has been held.
“It’s a great way for us to get out there and show everybody that people with disabilities can have a wonderful time,” said Falzone.

Everyone who came out had a chance to listen to live music, play games , and even paint pictures, just to show them their not alone.

“I’ve met some wonderful people and that’s my message to anyone with a disability, get out like you are today, have fun, have a good time, and don’t be ashamed, don’t be afraid, and don’t be alone,” said Falzone.

Falzone said staying positive despite having a disability is also extremely important.

If anyone wold like to join The Northeast Mississippi chapter of the arc’s support  group, visit,

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