Roanoke woman with title ‘Ms. Wheelchair Virginia’ set to compete in ‘Ms. Wheelchair America’

Ryann poses with her sash and crown.
Ryann poses with her sash and crown.(WDBJ7)
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - When you ask Ryann Kress how she felt 3 months ago, as she started a new nursing position at Carilion, she will tell you about her nerves.

“I was the first and nobody really knew what to do with me, and what I would need help with and what adaptations I would need, and things like that,” said Kress.

Kress has had a lot of reasons to be nervous throughout her life, but she’s rolled right through them.

That includes an opportunity she never knew existed that a friend convinced her to try.

Little did she know the crown would become hers for two years.

“Luckily the state board liked the advocacy work that I was doing, so I got to carry the title through 2021, and now I’m competing for Ms. Wheelchair America in one week.”

She’s competing against 29 women from all over the country. The pageant is virtual, just like most of Ryann’s appearances have been. But like most things, she’s learned how to embrace that challenge too.

“I had maybe 200 followers on my platforms and everything and now I’m up to 15,000.”

The numbers are exciting, but Kress cares much more about people having a better understanding of those in health care with disabilities. A new crown and a new sash can continue to push that message forward.

If you would like to help Ryann, you can vote for her for the people’s choice award in the Ms. Wheelchair America competition here.

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