EVERYONE CAN EXERCISE/SYN/1991 (Crippled)
*(Maria Serrao) Maria Serrao, a 5′ 4″ 107 pound wheelchair-bound fitness instructor who hosted the first nationally syndicated cable fitness program targeted specifically at the disabled.
Motivated to lose 50 pounds of weight, Serrao designed a series of exercises that included aerobics, stretching, weight training and low-fat diet. Her efforts soon blossomed into her successful cable program which premiered in November 1991.
Serrao received her disability in childhood when at the age of five, a drunk driver hit the car her mother was driving, causing permanent damage to her spinal cord which paralyzed both her legs.
Serrao’s acting credits include a small part in 1980 film Inside Moves with John Savage; a TV role playing a physically challenged rape victim on 21 JUMP STREET; followed by parts on GENERAL HOSPITAL, KNOTS LANDING, CAGNEY & LACEY and DIFF’RENT STROKES.
She continues to follow her simple philosophy on life “What’s right with me is so much more important that what’s wrong with me. My goals and my love of life are stronger than my disability” (People Weekly 4/17/95 p.75-76)