Ginger Stands Her Ground
by Virginia Ford
| Published 11-04-2017
Ginger Visel contracted polio in the winter of 1950, when she was not yet five years old. Her life would never be the same. By the time the virus was through with her, she had a withered leg, weak muscles, and hip trouble that required multiple surgeries. The University of Michigan Hospital became a second home, the March of Dimes a reliable support system, and leg braces an everyday part of her wardrobe. In the era before ramps and automatic doors, Ginger had to learn to adapt to a world not built for her.
Surrounded by ten siblings and guided by an unstoppable mother, she met every challenge with determination and an unshakable faith in God. With equal parts cheerful humor and honest vulnerability, Ginger recalls desperately trying to fit in at school, the terror of learning to drive a hand-controlled car, the near-impossibility of finding an accessible college, and the worry that she'd never get married and have a family of her own.
Both a universal coming of age story and a look at the complexities of being disabled before the ADA, "Ginger Stands Her Ground" is an inspiring story of the meaning of family, the importance of faith, and the ultimate triumph of love.