more than words

Angela Wilhelm

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Norwalk heads to state finals

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Norwalk's Jeff Thomas shoots the ball as Colin Gossard reaches to block in the Division II regional championship against Lima Bath at Bowling Green State University Saturday, March 15, 2014.

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Sue Gray (far right), wife of Norwalk coach Steve Gray (foreground), can barely watch along with daughters Elise (center) and Kailyn (left) in the closing seconds of Saturday's game. Click here for a great story Mark Hazelwood wrote on how basketball played a part in Sue's triumph over cancer.

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Norwalk's Jordan Johnson shoots as Lima Bath's Trent Jones reaches to block.

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Norwalk fans react as their team wins the Division II regional championship game.

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Jordan Johnson leaps into the air after winning the Division II regional championship game.

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The Norwalk basketball team hugs their fans after the game.

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Norwalk's Jordan Johnson, right, hugs Breck Turner Saturday.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter Sports

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Port Clinton's Nathan Stubblefield attempts to shoot as Oak Harbor's Deshawn Johnson reaches to block Friday, December 6, 2013.

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Sandusky's Dru Craig competes in the 100 yard butterfly Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at Perkins.

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Norwalk's Lance Leto attempts to pin Sandusky's Jalen Gowdy Wednesday, January 12, 2014 in Perkins.

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Sandusky and Lorain players reach for possession of the ball Wednesday, December 14, 2013.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

California Dreamin'- All Over Again

After three flight cancellations trying to get to Albany for a Life in the Dog House shoot, I finally made it. I knew flying back to Cleveland wasn't going to be the easiest task, but at least I got here to film our upcoming episodes. This morning I had my third flight change and will be stuck in New York until tomorrow... or the next day...

Mariesa and Chris are so great and are letting me stay here with them and their 8 dogs. If I am going to be stuck somewhere, here is a good place (have you seen our snowed-in Harlem Shake?). All 10 of them are full of love and are so caring. Plus I'll get to film more! But with all this terrible weather I can't help wishing I was on a beach during my road trip with this guy:

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Danielle and Geoff

I took some engagement photos for my cousin Danielle in October around the woods at my house. There are so many great spots for photos out here. Can't wait for the wedding!

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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Perfect Legacy

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Vicki Lezon dries her daughter's hair in their kitchen before heading to a cheerleading performance Saturday, November 2.

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Emily Lezon smiles during cheerleading practice at Vermilion High Tuesday, October 8.

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The Vermilion High varsity cheerleading squad practices Tuesday.

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Vicki makes customized wheel covers for Emily's events.

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Emily heads to class among the flood of students at Vermilion High School Monday, October 14.

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The Vermilion High varsity cheerleading squad practices Tuesday.

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Emily waits at the nurse's office during school Monday.

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Emily leaves her house in Vermilion Saturday, November 2. Her father, Todd, is pictured in the background.

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Emily is lifted in the air for a final pose during a performance at Tumbles and Cheers in Avon Saturday.

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Emily looks up at her mother, Vicki, as she crosses the field with her and her father, Todd, during senior night at Vermilion High School Friday, October 4.

From the moment she entered this world, a lot of people made some broad assumptions about who she could and could not become.

Emily Lezon was born 12 weeks premature at 2 pounds, 13 ounces, with a neural tube defect. She was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Medical professionals with fancy degrees assumed she would never talk. They were wrong.

Specialists with teams of interns hovered over her, concluding she would never sit up straight. They were wrong. Some said cheerleading would be too difficult for her — it would be too cold outside, and she’d be unable to move like the other girls.

They were wrong, too.

Emily, now 17, has spent her entire life defying expectations and disproving grand assumptions.

So when she decided from her wheelchair that she wanted to be a cheerleader, most people assumed there was no possible way.

With help from her parents, Vicki and Todd, Emily paved her own way, as has become her custom.

“We walked into a doctor once and he said, ‘So, she can’t talk,’ and I said, ‘Would you like to hear her say her ABC’s?’” Vicki said. “We learned pretty quickly to not let anybody set limitations.”

When Emily decided she wanted to be a cheerleader, her parents saw it as an opportunity for her to lead the way for future students like her.

“A Friday night football game is probably the biggest thing that happens,” Todd said. “So many people get to see Emily out there supporting her team, and we’ve had tons of people say, ‘That’s really cool, why doesn’t our school do that?”

When they’re approached with that question, the Lezons know they are making a difference in more than just Emily’s life.

Emily is now a senior at Vermilion High School, where she sees everyone as a friend. She gabs with other students at lunch and looks forward to being part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in her Teen Leadership class. She can brighten her peers’ days with just a sentence or a smile.

“You could be having the worst week, and (with) just one minute of Emily’s time, you will be smiling for the rest of your week,” said fellow cheerleader Hannah Sharpe, a senior.

Not shy about displaying her trademark enthusiasm and confidence, Emily said, “I’m a very happy girl.”

Her happiness is infectious, and she has become a role model for other students, Vicki said.

Her perseverance cannot be ignored.

Emily had two emergency surgeries the weekend before school started this year.

“She came home from the hospital on a Monday, went to school on Tuesday, and cheered Friday,” Vicki said, beaming.

She even went to cheerleading practice when she wasn’t allowed to move her arms because of the stitches in her head, neck and stomach.

“She just keeps plugging along,” her mother said. “It’s hard to keep her down.”

When she leaves school, the rest of her day is full of bows and high pony tails with her Vermilion Sailors squad or with Ohio Extreme, a competition team, at Avon’s Tumbles and Cheers.

“Those girls I see every day put a big smile on my face whenever I see them,” Emily said. “That makes me feel good.”

In preparation for a recent performance with the Ohio Extreme squad, Vicki did Emily’s makeup and helped her put her shoes on. Todd changed the Sailor emblem on the tires of her electric wheelchair to a silver star, in support of Ohio Extreme.

The constant help from her parents does not go unnoticed — she often offers up a meaningful “thank you.” She never gets nervous in front of the crowds at football games, basketball games and competitions.

“I just love the spirit. It changed my life’s impact” she said of her five years as a cheerleader.

She proudly wheels to the front of the crowds, where she lets her spirit shine. She has found unique ways to show her spirit with her wheelchair, like decorating it with sparkles and team emblems. For the final pose with Ohio Extreme, her fellow cheerleaders lift her out of her chair, above their heads.

“I learned that I can do anything, even though I’m in a wheelchair,” she said. “I’ve found ways to do it.”

“Part of Emily’s legacy at Vermilion High School is when she’s graduated people will say, ‘Wait a second, this is what we can do, we’ll find a way,’” Todd said. “When you talk about a person’s legacy, that’s perfect.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ferris Wheel

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Panther Run to Fun

I photographed the Panther Run to Fun last weekend for Whirlybird Photography. It is such a fun race to be at and all the teams did a great job. Here are some of my favorite photos from the races.

Photos can be purchased online here.

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About Me

My Photo
Staff photographer at the Sandusky Register. Freelance videographer at Follow me on instagram @angwilhelm and @sanduskyregister

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