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Oklahoma City woman readies for Miss Wheelchair America

Tough in the rink and staying tough now. That's not the image that usually comes to mind, when you think of a pageant queen. But that's Tahirah Johnson.

"It's a great opportunity, and I'm very grateful to be able to help people," she said.

Johnson had her very first ever pageant experience this year and took home the title of Miss Wheelchair Oklahoma. She'll represent the state at the national competition at the end of the month.

Johnson was known as Tequila Mockingbird for three years. She was a roller derby girl on a team in Chicago.

At a bout in 2007, she went down taking a skate to the neck, and leaving her unable to move below the shoulders. A couple of years later, she moved to Oklahoma City. She is doing much better now and more mobile, thanks to physical therapy and better medical science.

Part of her recovery is helping others to move forward too.

"As a peer mentor, I go and speak with other people, especially people who have been injured recently with spinal cord injuries. Also people who have been out longer and who are trying to re-enter in to the community and society and are struggling with that," she said.

Johnson's impressive resume as a peer mentor and an attorney helped her take the crown.

She is also very proud to work with her platform- health through mindfulness. She says no matter if you're in a chair, you can be healthy. She was able to lose about 40 pounds over the past four years with the program.

She says getting to spread that message on a national stage is more important than winning the national title.

"I plan on doing my best, there's a lot of great competition with the contestants and I just look forward to doing my best and let that fall where it may," she said.

The competition starts July 27 and runs through August 1.

Johnson could still use some help making it to the competition, you can see her fundraising efforts here.

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