Every year, 180,000 children are born with clubfoot, a birth defect causing the feet to turn inward and upward. I am one of them.
For most of my life, I saw my clubfoot and my skinny atrophied legs as a huge disadvantage…a deep personal shame…something I wanted to hide.
Then one day, I had a wake-up call.
I was working as a life coach several years ago and was a guest on a fellow coach’s podcast. She was helping me through a challenge I was facing in my business and we started talking about how I overcame my self-consciousness about my clubfoot. She asked one simple question: “Why aren’t you talking about that more?”
A simple question with profound implications. That day I fully embraced the truth that my clubfoot was a part of me…my story…what makes me unique.
And by denying that part of me, I was denying myself as a whole person, scars and all.
I hit the birth lottery. In a stroke of incredible luck, I was born into a family with insurance who could afford the surgery, casts, and brace required to make sure I could walk.
Not every child is as fortunate.
In most low- and middle-income countries, clubfoot treatment is either inaccessible or too expensive. In fact, it is estimated that less than 15% of children born with clubfoot have access to proper treatment. As a result, most children live their entire lives with a crippling disability, often fraught with stigma, illiteracy, abuse, and neglect.
Treatment is simple – a series of casts and then brace wear – and only $250 ensures a child is fully treated and able to run free.
Along with my coaching practice, I am proud to also be the Director of Communications at MiracleFeet – an ambitious, innovative, and passionate nonprofit that sees clubfoot disability as a major problem that can be solved in our lifetime.
So far, they’ve treated over 29,000 kids in 27 different countries. This number grows every day. In fact, MiracleFeet is working toward an ambitious 15-year Global Plan that will ensure every child, no matter where they are born, has access to treatment.
I am incredibly passionate about MiracleFeet’s mission, which is why I donate 10% of all online course and coaching purchases to this inspiring organization. By helping yourself learn to be a better communicator, you can help a child realize their hopes and dreams for a life filled with play, laughter, and possibility.