Hello. My name is Donna Heather Klippel. I have choreoathetoid cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a birth defect that occurs at birth. I was born with a lack of oxygen that damaged my basal ganglia, a part of the cerebellum. Therefore, I have a speech impairment and poor coordination of my hands and legs. I also have problems controlling my body movements. My mother died during childbirth and her name was also Donna. Therefore, my family always has called me by my middle name, Heather.
I have a mission in life and I hope this website can help me attain it. My mission is to have more people understand what cerebral palsy actually is. I’ve noticed that people with any type of disability and the people around them will treat another person who has a disability with respect. However, people that have no experience with a person with a disability will tend to underestimate them. I’ve gone through this myself and I strongly believe that with a little education, some people will come to understand that anybody with a disability is a somebody. They’re normal people.
I am a graduate Rockland Community College and St. Thomas Aquinas College. I obtained a Bachelor’s in psychology at St. Thomas Aquinas College. I was going to go for either a doctorate in school psychology or a Master’s in social work, but then I was intimidated to go to grad school and I had lost interest in the area of psychology. And it wouldn’t work out because I wanted to work with little kids and being a social worker would be too much traveling. I wanted a job with computer work so I went back to Rockland Community College for a paralegal certificate.
My hobbies are fishing, horseback riding, swimming and writing. I’ve been doing all of these things since I was younger. I started horseback riding when I was about six years old at my birthday party. I took up lessons after that. And I’ve been writing and fishing about the same time. My grandfather got me into fishing when I was about eight. My writing started in first grade when I came in third for a reflections contest. From there I continued writing. I became a fan of swimming in sixth grade. Up until then, I was afraid of the water. However, my gym teacher helped me break that fear.
I hope you find this website interesting. Check out my links for more information about me.