Protestor donates wheelchair to friend who hopes to inspire others with disabilities

NOW: Protestor donates wheelchair to friend who hopes to inspire others with disabilities

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As protests continue around Milwaukee County, not all who support the cause can march.

But that’s now changed for a local woman with a disability.

These two women were strangers before meeting each other about a month ago at an area protest.

And the bond they now share, as friends, is all to thanks to a gift.

About a week or so ago, feelings of disbelief and happiness overcame Michelle Joseph.

“We went to her vehicle and when she opened the door she said, ‘here, this is yours and it was a wheelchair,'" Joseph said.

Joseph supports the Black Lives Matter movement. She attends local events, but her disability has prevented her from marching in protests.

She was born with cerebral palsy, which affects her muscles and her movement.

“It’s been devastating. I feel like I wasn’t doing my part as a community personnel and letting my voice be heard," Joseph said.

At a standing protest in Brookfield Joseph met Molly Tilque.

“She’s a great person to be around, can’t stop laughing, can’t stop smiling," Tilque explained.

And at another event, the two talked about Joseph’s desire to do more.

“So I thought to myself, anyone who wants access to this movement anyone who wants to be part of the revolution should be able to," she said.

Tilque found the chair through an online, Facebook search.

And Joseph made it her own – adding color and sunflowers.

“Now I’m able to do stuff like this. If I’m standing around and my legs are getting weak, I’m able to sit down and stand up when I feel a little bit better," Joseph said.

She added that having a disability can be both stressful and painful.

But she hopes her story inspires others to be strong, and to let their voices be heard.

Joseph said she’s worked since she was 14 years old, and has never been able to qualify for state assistance.

She also has three children, and said her wheelchair will allow her to spend more time with them.

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