This week’s guest on the Empowering Ability Podcast is Win Kelly Charles. Win was Born with Cerebral Palsy (CP), and has defied the odds by becoming an author, the host of the Butterflies of Wisdom podcast, a competitor in the Kona IronMan Triathlon, CEO of her own jewelry design company, and motivational speaker. Win Charles truly is an inspiration to many.
Win is a disability advocate, and openly shares her journey as a person with CP. On the podcast, Win tells us that CP occurs at birth, and isn't genetic (so it isn’t something you will pass on). For Win CP impacts both sides of body; her left hand is weak, and her right leg is weak, and she has undergone 100+ surgeries.
Win is an extremely resilient person, so I ask her; what is the mindset that you carry to be the person that you are?
Win shares that she is “..not named Win for nothing.” Win’s mother named her after her grandmother, who’s name was Winaphin. From the tone in Win’s voice when sharing this story, I could hear the sense of pride and motivation this gives her.
Second, Win was treated like she didn’t have a disability by her parents. Win’s parents put her in the regular classroom, where she was treated as an equal and was able to participate in the same programming as everyone else. From her experience, Win suggests that if possible parents should put their kids in regular classrooms.
The approach that Win takes in her life is to "…….Always, Always, Always, look outside the box.... The solution is never cookie cutter." Win brings out a great point here as many families and people with a disability are constantly facing road blocks, and have to look for different solutions. Look outside the box, as win suggests, don’t take no or the status quo for an answer, be creative and find a different path, find your path!
I ask Win who her mentors were in her life that have made a big impact on her?
Win shares that there were a couple of educators who she views as mentors, but the biggest mentors in her life were her Parents. Win again drives home the point that her parents raising her as if she didn't have a disability empowered her to become the woman that she is today.
Take a listen to the podcast to hear our discussion on inclusion, how Win became an author and a podcaster, as well as the messages Win shares on disability advocacy.
If you want to learn more about Win’s journey, I recommend you pick up her book ‘I Win; Hope and life as a disabled woman living in a not disabled world’ on Amazon.
Win tours the country, speaking to schools and institutions to raise awareness about cerebral palsy, and living a full life no matter what holds you back. It was a pleasure having Win on the podcast, and if you want to hear more from Win you can Sign up for Win’s newsletter to stay updated on new releases and appearances.
Love & Respect,
How to Contact Win Kelly Charles:
Win's Art: Click Here
Podcast: Butterflies of Wisdom
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