“Reach for the stars with good intentions and the universe will answer.”
Remarkable. Tenacious. Elegant.
These are just a few words that describe Wendy Murphy.
Wendy’s life has been anything but conventional. As a young adult, she survived a serious car accident that left her with a spinal cord injury. She’s used a wheelchair ever since, setting out to make a difference for people living with disability and change the way we define ‘ability’.
In Wendy’s initial attempts at accepting her physical challenges she was overwhelmed by the limitations she faced not personally, but publicly. It was her community, or society as a whole, that seemed limiting to her efforts. It was obvious to her then that an unconventional strategy would have to take place in order to make a change in the public’s perception of the physically challenged.
It was after finding an agent willing to take on Wendy’s vision that her sights began to soar.
Her professional efforts began with securing photo shoots with some of Canada’s top department stores back in 1986 such as the Bay, Eaton’s, and Sears. It was not long after gaining exposure through her catalog work that her endeavors expanded joining Franco Mirabelli, one of Canada’s most successful fashion designers, and his team of runway models. She also went on to represent Canada in the 1991 Miss Venus International Pageant (she was the first woman in a wheelchair to do so!).
Her print work was just the beginning. It seemed no time before commercial roles surfaced winning her spots for a number of high-end Corporations as well as a recurring role in 1991, as the courtroom stenographer, on CBC Television’ s Street Legal. The opportunities for exposure at this point seemed endless.
As a result of Wendy’s ongoing success she appeared, as a guest, on a number of radio and television programs across the country discussing her motives and overall intent as a public figure. The feedback she continued to receive kept her motives focused and her ongoing efforts very positive.
Her success as a broadcaster began as a part-time reporter for YTV’s Streetnoise in 1992 and CTV’s coverage of the 1994 Disabled Ski Championships in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
What Wendy is most remembered for is her work at City TV. It was in 1995 that she took on the weekend role as host of the newsrooms Video Diary segments.
What Keeps Wendy Busy Today?
Today, Wendy is a Health Coach at the University of Toronto. She guides people living with spinal cord injury with a focus on making healthy choices and sustaining a long-term health plan. With decades of experience living with a disability, Wendy is able to apply her long term knowledge to the part time position. She finds it a fulfilling way to give back, to a community she fully understands and belongs to.
Wendy is also active at Queen’s Park, working to revise the Accessible Parking Permit Program to abolish fraudulent practices and increase designated parking spots.
Wendy sees the glass half full, which is clear in her recent memoir, “Wendy Murphy’s Law: Whatever can go wrong can be made right.” Readers will come away with a happier, healthier perspective on life.