Today's the last day to help Edna Escher-Gaston, a Swarthmore grandmother, win the title of "Best Mom on Wheels."

She's one of 10 finalists in a contest run by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, named for the Superman star who became a quadriplegic and his devoted wife.

Karen Dechaux of West Chester, makes a compelling case for her mother, calling her "my best friend and role model."

Dechaux was only 8, growing up in Swarthmore, when a terrible accident on I-95 left her newly divorced mother paralyzed from the waist down.

A lot of people would have give up, gotten depressed.

"Instead, she made it a mission to make a difference," Dechaux, a Cardinal O'Hara grad, said by phone.

Her online testimonial spells out how: "She co-founded Barrier Awareness of Delaware County and was one of the initial signers of the Americans with Disabilities Act in Washington, DC. She re-learned to drive with hand controls, to swim and to ride horses. An avid swimmer, she even swam laps for a national cancer charity event with our local swim club. As a member of Kid's on the Block, she visited pre-schools and elementary schools educating children about people with disabilities. She has also been a guest speaker at several Universities."

At one lecture, Edna met the man who became her husband in 1999.

"She is also the proud Mom-Mom to 6 grandchildren," wrote Dechaux, mother of two who works as creative director for American Telecast, an infomercial firm that specializes in fitness equipment.

If Escher-Gaston wins, she'd get a variety of state-of-the-art mobility equipment from the foundation, Dechaux said.

To vote, go to

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or