Mary T. Boxler of Johnstown, PA

We would like to introduce you to our very own, Mary T. Boxler. Mary is a Johnstown native and a participant of Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy since 1981. Born with Cerebral Palsy, the doctors predicted that she would not live to be 11 years old. Today she is 64 years old and living independently in her own home with assistance from her aides, and manages all her necessities including doctor appointments and bills.

Mary T. walked on her own with the assistance of crutches until she was in her 50’s and today gets around quite easily in her wheelchair. There has been a long-standing joke in her family that one time her
father placed a $20 bill on the floor about 20-25 feet in front of her and said, “If you can walk to it, it’s yours.” Sure enough, Mary T. triumphantly walked to that $20 bill and does so every Christmas when her family reenacts that moment. Mary says that she would not have been able to get this far without the love and support of her parents and the organizations that have supported her since day one. Among her biggest achievement of living independently, she was also named Easter seal Girl in 1965 and ’66, attended Hiram G. Andrews for clerical training where she lived on her own for the first time, and even got the chance to visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

If you were to meet Mary T. you would see her courage and compassion shine through her. In a letter from a close friend and family member, Mary T. was described as, “a marvelous person with such a terrific attitude about everything and everyone.” She has not let her disability hinder her to accomplish so many things in life and it is truly inspiring. We are so fortunate to get to know Mary T. as a participant and a loving friend of AUCP.