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Marilyn Hamilton
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“Giving back” to her community and industry is always on Marilyn’s heart. While she has long believed in contributing generously to worthwhile organizations and programs dedicated to improving life for the disabled, she also looks for innovative ways in which to do it.

In 1991, she fulfilled a lifelong dream by founding WOW (Winners on Wheels) – a scouting program for children with disabilities.

More recently, she helped establish the nonprofit organization Discovery Through Design with co-founders Wendy Crawford, Julia Stockton-Dorsett and Ashley Lauren Fisher – all successful, inspirational women who, like Marilyn, aren’t letting their wheelchairs get in the way of their thriving careers and rewarding lives.

Discovery Through Design exists to bring awareness and funds to spinal cord injury research and paralyzed women’s health issues, while at the same time demonstrating that women in wheelchairs can be fun, fashionable and forward-thinking.

Taking high fashion where it’s never gone before, Marilyn and her Discovery Through Design partners organized a first-of-its-kind event called the Rolling With Style Gala – a full-scale runway fashion fundraising event held during Fashion Week, 2007, at New York City’s posh Cipriani at 42nd Street. The Rolling With Style Gala featured four dynamic women in wheelchairs (“roll models”) selected in a nationwide search, each partnered with a world-renowned fashion designer, including Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons, Lloyd Klein, Nicole Miller, St. John and others. Each designer created a one-of-a-kind fashion concept for his/her roll model and her Quickie wheelchair.

At Marilyn’s request, Emmy-winning journalist Lesley Stahl agreed to emcee the event. The two have been friends since 1998 when Lesley interviewed Marilyn for a story on 60 Minutes. In addition to celebrating the beauty, style and drive of women in wheelchairs, the Rolling With Style Gala raised over $750,000 for disabled women’s health issues and spinal cord injury research.


Family photos

Envision by Marilyn Hamilton copyright 2007