DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Tell Me What I Can't Do & I'll Show You How I Succeed

Amputee

Audrey Cakin

Where there is a will, there is a way- Living life as an amputee

My name is Audrey. I was born 33 years ago in France with Spina Bifida. The  doctors amputated me at a young age. I was so young that I have no memories of my legs. Many people say it's a miracle because I didn't suffer or have to mourn the loss of my legs, but they are wrong. Unlike people who become disabled, I have only known this life without legs. In my young age, I used to miss what I never knew! However, I am the kind of positive person in the extreme. I grew up in a school for people with disabilities, which taught me to accept my differences and live without being slowed down.

At the age of 15 I moved to Martinique, a small Caribbean island. Everything was different there. Very little was created for people with disabilities. The locals were not used to seeing anyone "different." They even believed I was inferior and incapable.

I can do anything even though I am an amputee

Since that time period in my life, my only mission has been to change people's perceptions of those living with disabilities by constantly going  where I wasn't expected to go. If a school didn't have access for me, that's where I went. If a teacher didn't want or know how to act in the presence of a student with a disability, I went to his/her class and made sure to be the best student.

No sports teacher ever accepted students with disabilities at the time. I found a coach and learned everything possible about sports. I tried basketball, swimming, tennis, archery, etc. I created a connection between my coach and teacher so that no child will ever feel excluded again and will be able to participate in sports classes.

How Being An Amputee Changed the town of Martinique

After obtaining several diplomas in sports management at the age of 23, purchasing my own vehicle, building my house at the age of 26, winning several gold medals at the French Championship (100m 200m 400m), and being honored with the title of best athlete in Martinique (all categories: disabled or not) allowed me to change people's perceptions of individuals living with disabilities. I'm currently working on the General Council of Martinique as a writer and project manager for the development of disabled sports on the island. 

I love Martinique now. I’ve visited many different places, enjoyed the beaches and rivers, gone to clubs and have had lots of fun, discovered the traditions and culture, met people and had the chance to give them some of my positive attitude. It's just nicer to do all that under the Caribbean sun! I may not change the whole wide world, but the least I can do is try! My mission is not yet finished, but you know it well: I can do anything, right?!

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