Create * Adapt * Inspire

She’s back! Here’s our former intern Kelly Zatlin with a guest post.

Katie can do, and you can, too

by Kelly Zatlin

It’s been over six months since I finished my internship at Easter Seals Headquarters in Chicago, but my three months there connected me to the red seal for life, and my heart will forever have a spot for people who are affected by disabilities.

Katie smiling and showing off her book. Picture from her website

"Create. Adapt. Inspire." - Katie

The other day I learned about a 10-year-old girl who wrote and published a book. Umm. What? I’m 22 and can only dream of getting a book published! But wait, there’s more! She also surfs, swims, skis, plays basketball, has raced in a 5k, speaks at events, has won a pageant and has been on television. How many of those things have I done? Let’s just say that I still have a lot to cross off my bucket list.

One thing that I haven’t told you yet is that this young lady, Katie Hull, has spina bifida, which has left her feet paralyzed and her legs partially paralyzed. Katie uses a wheelchair, but she doesn’t let that stop her from participating in physical activities that others might think are impossible. And this is exactly what led her to write a book.

Katie was recovering from hip surgery when she decided to write about her experiences in a wheelchair. Katie Can Do and You Can Too is meant to inspire and teach others about all the different things that are possible for people, whether or not they have a physical disability. From Katie’s web site:

She has shared her personal journey in order to help inspire others, with and without visible challenges, to work hard, remain positive, and hold true to a can-do attitude. Katie can do, and you can too!

I’ve been following Katie’s journey through her amazing mom Sarah Hull’s blog and Instagram page for a few months now, and once I heard about Katie’s book, I said to myself, “Ok, the Easter Seals community needs to know about this!” I contacted them immediately and here I am, writing a guest blog six months after leaving my internship in Chicago, graduating college and coming back to my Southern California home.

I truly hope that Katie’s book will inspire other children and adults who have challenges, whatever they may be. Her smile and positive attitude alone are enough to encourage me to write my own book, take up surfing lessons or go back to school to get my Masters Degree.

I just want to leave you with one last thing that brought tears to my eyes: in a television interview, a reporter asked Katie if she thought God made her this way for a reason. Katie’s response? “I think he made me this way because I think he knew I could handle it.” All I can say is WOW!

Visit Katie’s web site to learn more about this amazing young lady. You can see a video of Katie in action there, and you can order her book there, too.


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