In this episode of the Overcome Your Limits Radio Show, host
Christopher E. Powell speaks with motivational speaker and author Gabrielle Ford about anti-bullying.
Gabrielle Ford never dreamed that a long-eared coonhound could change her life. But that’s just what happened when she cared for her ailing pet Izzy and found the voice to help others in need as a nationally-known motivational speaker. Today Gabe’s incredible story has drawn media attention from The Today Show, Cosmopolitan Magazine and Animal Planet, among others. Her 2009 autobiography Still Dancing shares even more of the inspirational details from her life as a way to encourage others that anything is possible.
As a child, Gabrielle loved dance and dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. That dream was shattered by a rare genetic neuromuscular disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia which would eventually place her in a wheelchair. Gabe not only struggled with the devastation of the illness, but also endured constant and cruel bullying from classmates. The constant torment took her on a path of depression and isolation.
That all changed when Izzy, a long-eared coonhound pup, entered Gabe’s life and landed them on Animal Planet TV. Izzy became Gabe’s best friend and constant companion. When this special friend mysteriously developed a condition mirroring Gabe’s, Gabe re-entered the world to get Izzy the best treatment available.
Speaking out for the voiceless Izzy gave her the courage to speak out for another voiceless group: the thousands of children bullied in American schools every day. Through countless personal trials, Gabe found her way back to the stage as an outspoken advocate against school bullying. In addition to her countless school visits, she has also been a keynote speaker at various conferences and conventions. Her dedication even earned her the USA TV Network Characters Unite Award 2012, Delta Kappa Gamma State of MI 2012 Distinguished Service Award, 2011 Toastmasters International Communications & Leadership Award, 2011 Peace Maker of The Year Award (Genesee County MI Gandhi Award), the Community Hero Award 2008 (Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce) as well as the Human Animal Bond Award 2006.
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