Saturday, March 28, 2009
Overcoming Hearing Loss and Achieving Success on Her Own Terms: The Kathy Buckley Story
I enjoy looking at life in a humorous way. For me it's very rewarding to make people laugh with a perfectly timed zinger. Even better would be to get paid to do it. When I was a child I sometimes pretended to be a stand up comedian like the ones featured on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In my twenties I even put my hand to writing a few jokes of my own. Even now humor is one of the bigger categories in my blog sidebar's list of topics. So I was thrilled to recently learn about a deaf comedienne named Kathy Buckley.
She has written her life story in an inspiring book titled If You Could Hear What I See: Lessons about Life, Luck, and the Choices We Make. Kathy's childhood was difficult. Her hearing loss was not even diagnosed until she was eight years old. Until that time, she was presumed to be mentally slow. In her late teens, she was run over by a lifeguard driving a Jeep. She says, "I finally get laid and it's by a Jeep." No laughing matter, she needed five years to recover from her extensive injuries. Doctors said she wouldn't be able to walk normally again. She didn't listen to that and is today able to walk unassisted. The next challenge to come along was cervical cancer. A frightening diagnosis for anyone, it was even more so for her when she couldn't understand what the doctors and nurses were saying during her treatments. She pulled through and moved forward with her life.
She got a pair of hearing aids and went to school for massage therapy. She wanted to be an actress but got into comedy instead when she entered and won a competition that was raising money for a children's charity. She then worked hard at learning the comedy business and used her onstage platform to tell her life story with humor and raise awareness of what it's like to be a deaf woman. Eventually this led to motivational speaking opportunities.
I highly recommend her book to you. If you'd like to learn more about Kathy, you can visit her website. There's a video there that features some of her comedy act. Unfortunately it's not captioned, I'm disappointed to say.
The following short video gives a summary of her achievements. (No captions needed, the audio is a song.)