Ability activist Chaeli Mycroft gives an inside look into living with cerebral palsy in her new book ‘Unapologetically Able’.
South Africa (17 September 2021) – Chaeli Mycroft is an inspirational young woman with an incredible story worth sharing.
Chaeli was born in 1994 with cerebral palsy, but she has never let disability dismantle her dreams. Cerebral palsy has confined Michaela “Chaeli” Mycroft to a wheelchair, which inspired her to become the world’s first “ability activist”. Her goal is to challenge the world’s understanding of what it is to create an inclusive society.
This month, South Africa’s National Book Week initiative coincides with the launch of a very special book that’s bound to inspire thousands. Chaeli has written ‘Unapologetically Able’, which chronicles the life, laughs, and unspoken vulnerabilities of those living with a disability.
No stranger to breaking ground and challenging misconceptions, 27-year-old Chaeli has already made history multiple times over… from summiting Mount Kilimanjaro to being the first athlete in a wheelchair to complete the Comrades Marathon, from winning the International Children’s Peace Prize to founding the Chaeli Campaign to champion a more ability-focused and inclusive world.
Now, in a tell-all, behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life, Chaeli brings us closer than ever: revealing her innermost thoughts, fears, questions, really crazy experiences, and the profound lessons she’s learned along the way…
“I’ve wanted to write this book for years,” says Chaeli. “But really doing it takes a different kind of courage and tenacity, and in some ways, it’s scarier and more daunting than climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! Through it though, I’ve reached an even deeper level of self-acceptance… and that’s the key thing I hope everyone that reads my book takes with them.”
This barrier-breaking account of not only living with a disability but learning how to do so unashamedly brings readers along on a journey of collective self-discovery and acceptance – whether they are disabled or not.
“I’ve tried to reveal my life and its lessons in all their complexity and range – from very intense moments and questions, to my grappling with the theoretical understanding of disability discourse, to some hilarious encounters and crazy stories – it’s a roller coaster of emotions, which is actually a pretty accurate description of my life thus far,” reflects Chaeli.
Why the title ‘Unapologetically Able’? “People tend to think that I’ve succeeded in spite of my disabilities,” says Chaeli, “But I want them to know that I’m still unapologetically able to do so many things they thought were beyond a disabled person’s reach. At the same time, I’m also unapologetically disabled… I have real needs, and I’m not ashamed of them. We have to own every part of ourselves unapologetically and for me, that includes all the disability stuff.”
Chaeli’s book, ‘Unapologetically Able’, is available nationally via her website, www.chaeli.co.za and internationally via Amazon.