Cindi Johnson of Rockford, Illinois recently won the 2012 NPC USA Wheelchair Championships in Louisiana. Cindi suffers from Malignant MS, a rare form of multiple sclerosis, which started to take her right leg. In 2009, she suffered a seizure so severe that it severed her sciatic nerve and lost the use of her left leg.
Unable to walk, in pain and overweight at 225 lbs, Cindi decided to do some gym therapy. She says, “Once i did get in that gym, I would feel normal for once. The guys in the gym would make me forget that this existed for me. I didn’t feel like I was in a wheelchair, I forgot about the pain. I was happy once again.” She trained hard for a year and competed in her first show at 110 lbs.
Cindi’s inspiration to workout comes from others with MS and she hopes to inspire “I want to show people, ‘See – you can get out there and do this yourself.’ I want them to know there is a life outside.”
Competitive bodybuilding helps Cyndi cope with being confined to a wheelchair. “I felt like not only could i fly, but like I could actually get up and walk. In my night show I took a chance and stood up to do my ab shot, kind of for my MS friends – just to to kind of say ‘MS can kiss my ass’.”