Home Handicap Van Wheelchair Bound 11 Year Old Receives Girl Scout Medal of Honor

Wheelchair Bound 11 Year Old Receives Girl Scout Medal of Honor


by Chelsea Rabideau
Posted on June 10, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Updated Tuesday, Jun 11 at 12:01 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – An 11-year-old is given an award that only 29 other girls receive each year, the Girl Scouts Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is one of the few lifesaving awards that the Girl Scouts of the USA give out. It means the recipient saved or attempted to save a life at the risk of her own life.

Jenica Miller depends on adults for many things. She has Type II Spinal Muscular Atrophy, is wheelchair bound, and depends on adults for her care. But, she also has a fierce independent streak.

Her mother, Julie Barksdale described her daughter, “When we’re out different places, where people will talk to me and not her, or they assume that she can’t do things because she’s in a wheelchair, or talk down to her. And she’s very quick to let everybody know that just because she’s in a wheelchair, she’s like other kids her age.”

Jenica is also a Girl Scout. Right there in the Girl Scout promise, it says, “Help people at all times.” That’s a promise that Jenica takes seriously.

One morning in September, the nurse who cares for her daily suffered a debilitating bout of vertigo. Jenica’s Girl Scout training kicked in.

“Because we learned for our first aid badge, in a situation you never get hyper or anything. You try your best to stay calm,” she explained.

The nurse couldn’t move or walk without help, so Jenica steered herself to the front door to let help in.

“I had unlocked the deadbolt, which, I can’t raise my arm off the arm rest, so I laid down my chair and my laterals helped my arm get up high enough so I could undo the deadbolt,” Jenica said. That was a risky, possibly life-threatening move had her wheelchair tipped over. It earned her the Medal of Honor.

For Jenica, the medal means more than honor.

“Some people look at a person in a wheelchair and think they can’t move or anything,” Jenica said. “And this proves that we can do things in the world that will make a change.”


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Janica just took delivery of her new van yesterday! Thank you Janica!!

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