“She believed she could, so she did.”
― R.S. Grey, Scoring Wilder
My name is Stephanie Debes.
I’m an NYS Licensed & NCEA Certified Esthetician, Makeup Artist, Event Planner, and Disability Awareness Activist.
I was born with Cerebral Palsy Spastic Quadriplegia as a result of medical malpractice. All four limbs are affected, leaving me to use a motorized wheelchair 24/7. My condition limits my ability to perform most everyday tasks and renders me dependent on others. I was born five months premature. Doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t last three days. Twenty-seven years later, I’m defying the odds every single day.
My disability has brought me under the knife more times than I can count: hamstring surgery, gallbladder surgery, scoliosis surgery, and a patella osteotomy on my knee. Recovery is much longer for someone with a disability, and I’m no exception. For example, my sister had scoliosis surgery and was home in two weeks. I had to recover for two months.
The nature of my condition is that my muscles are constantly contracting, forcing me to spasm. I have what’s called “high tone spasticity” which means my muscles don’t know how to relax. I’m in a constant state of tension, and my feet have to be strapped into my chair, otherwise, I experience chronic pain. Sometimes when my spasms are intense, I have bowel movements or bladder movements involuntarily. You never know how a day is going to go.
My life is a revolving door of caretakers, physical therapists, trainers, nurses, doctors, and drivers. But, through it all, I’ve set out to achieve all my goals.
I am the founder of the Makeup on Wheels Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the needs of the disabled community. I am also a NYS Licensed & NCEA certified Esthetician , a makeup artist in SFX & Beauty, and an Event Planner.
"Ms. Debes is a gifted makeup artist on the rise and is very often sought after. She is detail oriented and is known for enhancing each one’s natural beauty. She is proficient with stage makeup, bridal and casual looks to name a few. Ms. Debes is patient, calm and has a ‘keen eye’ for each clients’ desired look. All of our contestants were so pleased and excited with their makeup that we have invited Ms. Debes to return again this year to be our Pageant Makeup Artist. Thank you Ms. Debes for helping to make ‘Our dreams come true!"