Just like the Manhattan socialites it features, Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York City" is getting a major facelift this season, introducing three new wives into the mix -- including 38-year-old lawyer Aviva Drescher. But Aviva has more to talk about than just Prada bags and summer homes in the Hamptons; she's lived with only one leg since she was a child, and she's using her "Real Housewives" role to raise awareness about people living with disabilities.
While visiting a friend on a farm upstate when she was six years old, Drescher was involved in a terrible accident that forced doctors to amputate her left leg. But she hasn't let that disability stop her from living a full life: The born-and-bred New Yorker earned her law degree and practiced law until marrying investment banker Reid Drescher and becoming a full-time mom to their four kids. And in true "Housewives" fashion, she has two artificial legs: one for heels, one for flats.
Drescher (whose husband's cousin is TV star Fran Drescher) is an active advocate for the disabled; she's the national spokesperson for One Step Ahead, which helps kids with disabilities get involved in athletics. And she sees her "Housewives" stint as an opportunity to share her story. She tells the New York Post, "If I can take the silliness of the show and use it to get a message out to other amputees, particularly young girls, I’ll take it." We'll raise a glass of Ramona's pinot grigio to that.
See Aviva in action in this "Real Housewives of NYC" sneak peek:
Season 5 of "The Real Housewives of New York City" premieres Monday, 6/4 at 9 PM on Bravo.