Model: Kat Magnoli
Children’s Book Author / Student
Because of my disability, I have dealt with many ups and downs in my life. The way I cope is I try to approach every situation with a positive attitude and a hopeful heart. I have done this by doing my best to have a smile on my face and hoping that tomorrow will be a better day. I focus on being positive each day. I swim and love participating in advocacy events. I also love helping others.
Another way I deal with my hardships is by writing. Writing helps me express myself more clearly. This is one of the many reasons I have pursued my career as an author with my published book series The Adventures of Kat Girl. These stories are about a superhero in a wheelchair who helps kids who are being bullied. I have done many readings throughout Florida, teaching kids of all ages the importance of acceptance and kindness. I have seen how much of an impact this has had and hope to continue educating through my stories.
Once, while speaking at a school, I was told there was a student living with spina bifida at my event. The child was having trouble making friends because he was shy. I asked him to be my special helper for that day and by the end of it he was talking and making jokes. I have also had “able-bodied” students tell me how much they love the stories, and how they want to grow up to be an author just like me. Children are not my only audience. I have recently been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul Think Possible and have received a lot of positive feedback from adults about how my story of finding my place in this world really inspired them.
I am currently working on creating a non-profit, The Kat Girl Foundation, to help inspire both children and adults with my message of acceptance, kindness, and resilience through stories about a special girl whose wheelchair has special powers. After being part of the Bold Beauty Project, I am making a portfolio to pursue modeling which has always been a secret dream of mine. I hope to show the world with all that I have accomplished and am working on, that no matter the obstacle, anything is possible!
Photographed by Pedro Delguy