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2 extra days to vote for ‘Best Mom on Wheels’

An online contest titled “Best Mom on Wheels” has fittingly been extended through Sunday, Mother’s Day. That means more time to vote for a disabled Swarthmore grandmother, Edna Escher-Gaston, one of the 10 finalists in the contest, run by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, set up by the Superman star who became a quadriplegic and his devoted wife.

An online contest titled "Best Mom on Wheels" has fittingly been extended through Sunday, Mother's Day.

That means more time to vote for a disabled Swarthmore grandmother, Edna Escher-Gaston, one of the 10 finalists in the contest, run by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, set up by the Superman star who became a quadriplegic and his devoted wife.

Karen Dechaux of West Chester calls her mother "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.

Instead of getting despondent, "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 www.ChristopherReeve.org/bestmom.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.