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August 20, 2007

I'll Do It Myself !


Glenda has cerebral palsy. A lack of oxygen at birth meant she would not be able to walk, her hands would not function well and her speech would be almost impossible to understand. Her parents were advised to institutionalize her. She wouldn’t amount to anything, the experts said.

Yet, this gutsy redhead proved them wrong. Glenda was integrated into a regular classroom long before mainstream was a buzzword. She went on to earn the Canada Cord, the highest award in Girl Guides, and the Outstanding Junior Student Award. The girl who could not walk won a gold medal in horseback riding!

How did she do it? Glenda Watson Hyatt shares her experiences in her book " I'll Do It Myself" on living with cerebral palsy. In her book she motivates and inspires others to think about how they perceive their own situation and their own world around them. She does all this by typing with only her left thumb!


AskPatty: Can You share with our readers why you decided to write "I'll Do It Myself "?

Glenda: Oftentimes, reading how someone else has handled a situation helps the reader get through particular situation or circumstance; sometimes, knowing someone else has gone a similar experience helps the reader to feel less alone, less isolated. I decided to write my autobiography I'll Do It Myself to share my experiences and lessons learned in hopes of helping others. I also wanted to show others that having cerebral palsy (or any physical disability for that matter) is not a death sentence, but rather a life sentence.

AskPatty: How long did it take to complete?

Glenda: Amidst other projects and duties, writing and editing the manuscript took approximately four years. Typing with only my left thumb takes a while!

However, I've dreamt about writing this book since I was ten when I read books like Joni and The Other Side of the Mountain. For thirty years, I had dreamed, researched and planned for this book. It was a "fall on my knees" moment when the boxes of books arrived and I saw my book for the first time. I can only imagine it's similar to giving birth.

AskPatty: What is your favorite chapter?

Glenda: My favorite chapter is the final chapter "Coming Out of the Silence". With my cerebral palsy, my speech has been significantly affected. I have been labeled "functionally non-verbal". Few people understand Glenda-ish, which has led to isolation at times.

But, with the internet, email, blogs and such, a whole new world has opened to me. I can now interact with people in a new way, like with this virtual book tour!

And, with the help of my husband Darrell, we've found a way to use inexpensive technology for me to communicate (in a limited way, so far) in a live group setting. A couple of years ago I gave my first speech to one hundred people!

I feel like a butterfly slowly emerging from my cocoon, transitioning from non-verbal to speech impaired.  I'm feeling hopefully and optimistic about the future. The future is mine!

Ferrari_beach AskPatty: Of Course I have to ask,  what is your favorite car?

Glenda: Although I am vehicular-challenged, my longstanding fantasy is cruising down the Pacific west coast in a red Ferrari: top down, sunshine on my face and winding blowing through my hair. Ain't life grand!

AskPatty: How can our readers purchase a copy of your book?

Glenda: My book isn't yet available from Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. It is available from my blog at

AskPatty: You are a true inspiration Glenda! Thank you for sharing your story with our readers.

Glenda  is married to a wonderful man Darrell who also has cerebral palsy, making life that much more interesting. Together they struggle to find employers and business clients who see beyond their disabilities to see their skills, talents and God-given gifts. Their ambitions are as normal as any couple’s: pay off the mortgage, travel and save for retirement.

Glendathumbnail_2 Contact Glenda Watson Hyatt, Author of "I'll Do It Myself " to schedule a virtual book review on your blog!


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