Accidentally shot at the age of 9 and paralyzed from the waist down, Chanda Hinton didn’t let her disabilities stop her from participating in activities with friends throughout her school years. But in college, she began to experience chronic pain. The best her physician could do was prescribe narcotic painkillers, which only caused Chanda depression, severe weight loss and substance dependence.
Through the advice of her sister, Chanda tried alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and dietary changes. She regained her weight and health and her self-esteem improved dramatically. Her own journey to wellness ignited a spark and she decided to help other disabled people access alternative and complementary therapies, as well.
At the age of 26, Chanda started her own nonprofit, the Chanda Plan Foundation, which helps distribute funds to those who need them so they can choose their own complementary health care practitioners. She’s even been lobbying for Medicaid approval of alternative therapies and wants to start an education center for physicians so they, too, can understand just how complementary these alternative therapies can be.